The Criterion Collection's release of Barry Lyndon today on Blu-Ray is an affirmation of its artistic merit. And it is also currently the best presentation of the film yet on home video, based on a new 4K transfer of the negative. Stanley Kubrick's personal assistant, Leon Vitali, helped oversee the restoration efforts and the creation of a new 5.1 surround track and it shows. And as an added nugget of trivia, Leon Vitali co-stars in the film as Barry's stepson Lord Bullingdon.
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
- New documentary featuring cast and crew interviews as well as audio excerpts from a 1976 interview with director Stanley Kubrick
- New program about the film’s groundbreaking visuals, featuring focus puller Douglas Milsome and gaffer Lou Bogue as well as excerpts from a 1980 interview with cinematographer John Alcott
- New program featuring historian Christopher Frayling on Academy Award–winning production designer Ken Adam
- New interview with editor Tony Lawson
- French television interview from 1976 with Ulla-Britt Söderlund, who codesigned the film’s Oscar-winning costumes
- New interview with critic Michel Ciment
- New interview with actor Leon Vitali about the 5.1 surround soundtrack, which he cosupervised
- New piece analyzing the fine-art-inspired aesthetics of the film with curator Adam Eaker
- PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and two pieces about the look of the film from the March 1976 issue of American Cinematographer
Respected film critic Mark Kermode has a video review in which discusses Barry Lyndon, which I recommend checking out. He gives some interesting insights and commentary on this often overlooked film classic. I will have a lot more to say about this film in an upcoming book 44 Years of Stanley Kubrick.