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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 05.15.13] scifi thriller

Criterion are killing me! The company recently announced their August releases which include a 4K Blu-ray release of John Frankenheimer's psychedelic tinged, sci-fi thriller Seconds. Talk about a lost classic being reborn!

If you've never seen Seconds, it's about Rock Hudson - well, Rock Hudson plays the new face of a guy who wasn't always Rock Hudson - who has a mental breakdown because of a procedure that altered his identity so he could start his life over as someone else. Speculative scifi at its best, really.

Rock Hudson is a revelation in this sinister, science-fiction-inflected dispatch from the fractured 1960s. Seconds, directed by John Frankenheimer, concerns a middle-aged businessman dissatisfied with his suburban existence, who elects to undergo a strange and elaborate procedure that will grant him a new life. Starting over in America, however, is not as easy as it sounds. This paranoiac symphony of canted camera angles (courtesy of famed cinematographer James Wong Howe), fragmented editing, and layered sound design is a remarkably risk-taking Hollywood film that ranks high on the list of its legendary director’s major achievements.

This Edition Features:

- New 4K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary featuring director John Frankenheimer
- Actor Alec Baldwin on Frankenheimer and Seconds
- New program on the making of Seconds, featuring interviews with Evans Frankenheimer, the director’s widow, and actor Salome Jens
- Interview with Frankenheimer from 1971
- New visual essay by film scholars R. Barton Palmer and Murray Pomerance
- An essay by critic David Sterritt

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MrSatyre (7 years ago) Reply

To clarify your opening remarks: while the Blu-ray format (essentially an empty box) is perfectly capable of storing a 4K (or even an 8K) film (probably using the new H.265 codec), Criterion is not releasing any 4K Blu-ray. There is no adopted standard for either 4K or 8K consumer media.


agentorange (7 years ago) Reply

In the features, they claim the film will be a "New 4K digital film restoration," but perhaps that print is just what they used to create their Blu-ray?

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