Digital Restoration

Lawrence of Arabia Restoration Trailer

Director David Lean’s sweeping tale of the life of British intelligence officer T.E. Lawrence is one of the most beloved films of all time. Lawrence of Arabia is packed full of iconic images, unforgettable performances, instantly recognizable music, and it just may be the greatest epic that Hollywood ever produced. But, unfortunately, many of us have only had the opportunity to watch it on our little TVs at home, and not projected up on the big screen like God (Lean) intended. The last time the film saw a big re-release, it was for the debut of the director’s cut, and that was all the way back in 1989. We’ve all got another chance to change that coming up, however, as a 4K digital restoration of the film has been done to commemorate its 50th anniversary, and this fall Sony Pictures will not only be putting the restored version out on Blu-ray, but they’re also going to be giving it a run in theaters.  Which, finally, gives those of us too young to see it on the big screen either the first or second time around the opportunity to take in the Arabian desert in all its glory.

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Charles Foster Kane’s mustache was getting a little gray. Or a little sepia. It’s hard to tell. The immortal film of the fictional man’s life (based on a non-fictional man) will be coming to Blu-ray this September (alongside iTunes, On Demand, VUDU and Amazon Instant Video) as a 70th anniversary edition, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, a ton of work has been done to give it a digital facelift. The money quote comes from Warners Imaging Colorist Janet Wilson: “The work to re-create the original look of the film and to clean up the effects of aging was a painstaking, frame-by-frame process. The source for most of the picture was a 4K scan from a 1941 composite fine grain positive master.” It will no doubt look pristine and no doubt look nothing like the movie we know (which is what happened with Beauty and the Beast recently). Still, it will be fascinating to see Citizen Kane done in such a different way, and any excuse to watch it again is a good one. Also, any excuse to grow a mustache is a good one. Are you looking forward to seeing Kane on Blu-ray and/or growing a sweet ‘stache for the occasion?

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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