• With the Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, we’re celebrating the breathtaking work of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who is nominated this year for his work on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. If he wins, Lubezki will be one of the only cinematographers to ever take home the Oscar three years in a row, following his wins for Gravity and Birdman. In honor of that, we’re giving you a rare glimpse through Lubezki’s talented eyes, an opportunity to see what the raw original negative of Terrence Malick’s 2005 film The New World, one of the cinematographer’s most beautifully lensed films, looks like before and after color correction. Lubezki and Malick have been working with Criterion for more than a year to create a new 4K restoration of Malick’s preferred 172-minute cut of the film, and these brief, never-before-seen examples show the incredible difference between the look of Lubezki’s meticulously exposed camera negative and that of the finished film.


57 comments

  • By Win Martin
    February 26, 2016
    04:11 PM

    I'd like to echo the concern expressed by others that your release will only feature the 172-minute cut. I would like to have it for the sake of completeness, but the theatrical cut is far preferable. I keep the New Line DVD around despite owning the Blu-Ray because the DVD is, unfortunately, the only way to see the best version of the film at home. It would really be a shame if Criterion neglected the opportunity to bring the 135-minute cut to home video in high definition. I have seen all three cuts--135 minutes, 150 minutes, and 172 minutes--and the 135-minute version has easily the best pacing and construction.
    Reply
    • By Alex Calleros
      April 06, 2016
      04:19 PM

      I absolutely agree—I have also seen all three cuts, and the theatrical (135-minute cut) is by far my favorite version of the film. Please, please, PLEASE provide us with a high-definition version of the 135-minute cut on Blu-Ray. It would truly make the Criterion edition a must-have for New World fans.
  • By John Smith
    February 26, 2016
    04:14 PM

    The images on the left are normal scanned camera negatives. They are not over or underexposed, they are exposed normally. The reason they look this way is because the details in the negative were scanned in such a way as to preserve the maximum amount of information for grading. Once these scanned images are loaded into a color grading application, the colorist will add what's known as a LUT (look-up table), which you can think of as a kind of filter that transforms the data into something more pleasing to look at. The LUT is only made once, but applied to all shots in the film, and this will automatically get the washed-out images on the left to look more-or-less 90% of the way they do on the right. Color grading then commences at this point to make fine adjustments in color and contrast so that the film has a consistent look from start to finish.
    Reply
  • By Will C
    February 26, 2016
    04:58 PM

    Please include all three edits of the movie and not just the Director's Cut. I've never seen the Academy qualifying release and am curious to see how it compares to the theatrical and extended versions.
    Reply
    • By thevoid99
      February 26, 2016
      05:31 PM

      I agree. I own both the 135-minute theatrical and the 172-minute extended editions of the film on DVD as I would like to see the 150-minute cut as well as I hope it includes some new special features and such about the script that Malick wrote in the late 70s as well as some insight into the production.
  • By Devon Menendez
    February 26, 2016
    05:35 PM

    Do what you like Criterion. Excited to see the final product.
    Reply
  • By Jake W.
    February 26, 2016
    08:44 PM

    yea this is already on blu ray with the extended cut, but why does something made in 2005 need restoration?
    Reply
    • By Jason Blevins
      February 27, 2016
      01:33 AM

      Well, either poorly maintaining the film could age it pretty rapidly — maybe Malick kept it in his hot garage in Austin, TX. But chances are, this is a terminology mistake. They may have just meant a 4k transfer for higher resolution using the original 35mm print and re-coloring it vs. actually restoring it. But the latter is less words.
    • By alvareo
      March 01, 2016
      08:25 PM

      As soon as it comes out, you'll be able to compare and see why it needed restoration. Long story short, 2005 scans were not made thinking about Blu-ray as it didn't exist at the time.
  • By Brad Axworthy
    February 26, 2016
    11:16 PM

    When does this come out?
    Reply
  • By john hintergardt
    February 26, 2016
    11:17 PM

    So what is the difference between the theatrical cut and the 172 version? Is there more of a coherent plot and more dialogue? I didn't like The New World I found it visually stunning but there was no story and it dragged along for 2 hours and 15 minutes. The audience I saw it will were all falling asleep. Before I get torn a new a s s h o l e by Cult of Malick I love Badlands, Days of Heaven, Thin Red Line and Tree of Life but the New World was Sominex for the senses.
    Reply
  • By Naked_Island
    February 27, 2016
    02:26 AM

    I love that Criterion is still working with my favorite director, I really hope we get The Tree of Life eventually.
    Reply
  • By Oblivion138
    February 27, 2016
    09:16 AM

    Count me in when it comes to concern over the idea that the 172-minute cut is Malick's preferred version. It's not even a director's cut, as many have called it. It's an extended cut, reinstating footage that Malick himself cut. Malick's preferred cut, the true director's cut, is the theatrical cut. Please, Criterion, give us the theatrical cut.
    Reply
    • By alvareo
      March 01, 2016
      08:26 PM

      I assure you that if they're directly working with Malick on this and they're only restoring the extended, it means it's his preferred cut. Otherwise he wouldn't have approved it.
  • By gonesavage
    February 27, 2016
    12:36 PM

    Do you guys really not think that Criterion working with Lubezki will NOT be doing the right thing by this film? Trust them, I'm sure we'll get a great release.
    Reply
    • By FocusPulling
      February 27, 2016
      12:52 PM

      Arguably, it's not quite that simple. The public will deserves accounting, and it's overwhelmingly in favor of the 135-minute version: not because we're impatient millennials, but simply because the 172-minute cut is a sloppy edit. Talk to Star Wars fans (albeit, on a lower level than this) and they'll give you an earful about how George Lucas was wrong about his own change of mind. Unless hearing otherwise, it's safest to assume that this is actually the classic manipulation motivated by profit: the "Extended Cut" was a way to sell more discs, because it feels as elusive as Malick himself, while evincing the idea that you get more for your money.
    • By Jason Blevins
      February 29, 2016
      11:44 AM

      @FocusPulling For one, it's the director's film, not the publics. I'd say it should be Malick's decision. Secondly, many people I know prefer the extended cut of the film as having better pacing and better articulation of the film's themes. Everyone has their preferences, of course. But I don't believe there's any empirical data backing up what is overwhelmingly preferred. I personally prefer the extended cut and that's the only version I have. I've seen the other two cuts and they aren't quite as effective.
    • By alvareo
      March 01, 2016
      08:27 PM

      Lubezki is a DP, not an editor. He clearly knows a lot about lighting and lensing but it's safe to assume that he probably doesn't know as much about editing and pacing,
  • By David Melican
    February 27, 2016
    01:06 PM

    I kind of don't understand the point of this "restoration" unless Criterion releases it as a 4K UHD Blu-ray. The existing Blu-ray used a 2K D.I. and also includes the 172 minute version. There could be some improvement from a 4K master that is then down converted to 1080p, but not a lot. Am I missing something?
    Reply
    • By Jason Blevins
      February 29, 2016
      11:48 AM

      The New World isn't part of the Criterion Collection yet officially. They probably got the rights and are doing their own transfer of it (not uncommon) at the current highest quality they can. It is also not just about whether they'll release it in 4k, but that in film conservation — that needs to be an ongoing process of films we believe should be archived — it needs to be updated and maintained at the best quality because 2k today might not be as good as 8k tomorrow, for example. So might as well scan it at 4k if they're going through the effort to release this film.
    • By alvareo
      March 01, 2016
      08:30 PM

      There's usually an improvement with scanning 4K (estimated full resolution of 35mm), and digital film scanning probably has gone a long way in ten years.
  • By HUSKY
    February 27, 2016
    02:32 PM

    "Lubezki and Malick have been working with Criterion for more than a year to create a new 4K restoration of Malick’s preferred 172-minute cut of the film."
    Reply
  • By Ethan R. Kaisen
    February 27, 2016
    04:17 PM

    Do we have any info when it will be released? Or screenings info?
    Reply
  • By Paul A.
    February 28, 2016
    03:55 PM

    lol to those claiming to know what Malick prefers ... he has never made a public statement of any sort. It was always intended from the start (and this has been the case with every film since as a contractual stipulation fulfilled by producer Sarah Green) that Malick would have the option (not obligation) to create an alternate cut than that which was released theatrically. Rest assured that nothing is released without his blessing and cooperation. If this is what Criterion was given, it's because he wanted it that way.
    Reply
  • By Darmok
    February 29, 2016
    01:53 AM

    I keep wondering if I'm going to keep buying 2K Blu-rays and for how long. If most times Criterion, among others, are doing 4K transfers or restorations shouldn't one just wait for the 4K disc release?
    Reply
    • By Gord
      February 29, 2016
      07:12 PM

      Why? 2K looks great. 4K does too. A good remaster of a DVD looks great while watching and doesn't in any way impede enjoyment of the film. Stop worrying and enjoy watching movies. There's always going to be the "next best thing". I'm not a goat and I don't like carrots.
  • By Connor
    February 29, 2016
    05:10 PM

    I'm really happy that there's no mention at all of the stunted studio cut Malick released through New Line. The 172 minute version is the ultimate version of the film for Malick lovers: the title cards, extended battle sequences, beautiful images, and thirty more minutes of Colin Farrell's John Smith make the movie much more epic and grand in scope. Honestly the theatrical cut feels confused and tone-less compared to romanticism and sorrow of the extended cut.
    Reply
  • By Eric R.
    March 01, 2016
    03:32 AM

    A lot of people seem to have concerns about which version of the film will be on the Criterion release. Technical Director Lee Kline spoke at a restoration here in Columbus this past weekend (I was there). When asked specifically about the two different cuts of The New World, as I recall, he said that both would be present. He couldn't (or wouldn't) comment on which would be the default, but seemed to be saying that BOTH would be accessible on the Criterion release.
    Reply
    • By alvareo
      March 01, 2016
      08:29 PM

      Thanks for the info! I guess that, with those statements and this Criterion post, we can assume the theatrical will be included, just in an old master, unless they reconstruct the theatrical from the extended elements.
    • By FocusPulling
      March 03, 2016
      01:11 AM

      That is great news, Eric. Thanks for sharing this reassurance.
    • By Alex Calleros
      April 06, 2016
      04:22 PM

      I hope this is true, I would LOVE to own the theatrical cut on Blu-Ray (even if "un-restored")!
  • By Gord
    March 05, 2016
    08:49 PM

    So, I make a respectful remark about trying to get off the comsumer-treadmill and simply enjoy film and not worry so much about the latest tech...and my remark is deleted. I guess it's safer to use the "f-word" on here than make a intelligent comment because those seem to have a higher survival rate.
    Reply
  • By Linda M.
    September 09, 2016
    10:43 PM

    Has anyone experienced the english subtitles being unable to be turned of on the directors cut? Very annoying.
    Reply
  • By Jim Gleeson
    October 06, 2017
    04:33 PM

    Is it envisaged that Criterion will embrace bluray ultra hd discs in the short term?
    Reply