Second Sight Releases Stellar 4K Versions of Crimes of the Future, It Follows


Second Sight is a UK DVD and Blu-ray company that has been killing it for almost three decades, but more recently started making international waves with limited edition 4K releases for a “It Follows” and “Crimes of the Future,” both of which are must-adds to the collection of any serious fan of these films. Along with these 4K, region-free drops, the company has released extras-packed editions of “Frontier(s),” “May,” “The Changeling,” “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” and they have standard Blu-ray releases of “Chopper” and the “Ginger Snaps Trilogy” landing later this month. All of this is to say that collectors who keep track of the latest from Criterion and Arrow should take a peek at this slate of physical goodies.

Watching “It Follows” again, I’m struck by the shocking truth that this film is almost a decade old. Maybe it’s director David Robert Mitchell’s very intentional placement of this film in a setting that feels almost flung out of time—they go see “Charade” and watch old movies, dress like it’s the ‘80s at times, but the victim in the prologue has a cellphone—but “It Follows” hasn’t aged at all. It could come out today and it would be one of the best films of 2023, in any genre. It’s a film that I appreciate more with each viewing, this time struck by how Mitchell incorporates his influences (Carpenter and Lynch, for example) without calling overt attention to them, and how he visually foregrounds his themes of voyeurism and an unsettling lack of safety even in a suburbia that should be harmless. The 4K transfer is nice, but the audio mix is even more impressive, making that killer score even more effective with a new Dolby Atmos track produced by Second Sight.

As for supplemental material, there are two fun commentary tracks. The solo one by Joshua Grimm seems very well-versed in the production details, offering anecdotes about how a scene ended up being shot, where it was filmed, and why Mitchell and ace cinematographer Mike Gioulakis made certain choices. It’s funny and informative, as is the paired commentary by Danny Leigh and Mark Jancovich, although it would have been nice to get a female critic/scholar’s opinion on a film that definitely has something to say about gender issues. The interviews are brief but solid, including new ones with Keir Gilchrist and Olivia Luccardi. There’s also a new video essay by Joseph Wallace, and the limited edition includes 150 pages of essays, one of which is by regular contributor Katie Rife.

The “It Follows” release was jointly released in recent weeks by a fantastic 4K edition of David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future,” a movie with so much to unpack and discuss that it’s perfect for a limited edition format dense with special features. Cronenberg first wrote a draft of this script over decades ago, and he would go on to play with many of its themes in movies like “Naked Lunch,” “ExistenZ,” “Crash,” and many more. A video essay by Leigh Singer deftly tracks the obsessions of Cronenberg, a man who doesn’t like the phrase “body horror” that’s so often applied to his work.

“Crimes of the Future” is one of the master’s most personal films, a story of an artist who literally has to give parts of himself for his art. At times, it seems like Viggo Mortensen is playing Cronenberg, all the way down to his manner of speaking, but “Crimes of the Future” is a movie that can be admired and appreciated without tying it to the patterns of its creator. And it’s never looked quite like this. The 4K transfer is rich with detail while maintaining the tactile nature of a film that everyone involved admits was sweaty and claustrophobic to make. One can feel that in this transfer.

As for special features, most of the interviews assembled here with people like Cronenberg, Mortensen, Lea Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, and more were shot during the film’s unveiling at Cannes in 2022. They’re all solid, especially the director himself, but they have a bit of a soundbite angle and run a little short. Better is the aforementioned essay, the commentary by Caelum Vatnsdal, and the 120 pages of essays by experts, including Phil Nobile Jr. and Hannah Strong.

Get a copy of “It Follows” here.

Get a copy of “Crimes of the Future” here.

“It Follows” Special Features

Dual format edition including both UHD and Blu-ray with main feature and bonus features on both discs
Second Sight Films 4K master produced in conjunction with the original post production facility
Approved by Director David Robert Mitchell
UHD presented in Dolby Vision HDR
New Dolby Atmos audio track produced by Second Sight Films
New audio commentary by Joshua Grimm
Audio commentary by Danny Leigh and Mark Jancovich
Chasing Ghosts: a new interview with Actor Keir Gilchrist
Following: a new interview with Actor Olivia Luccardi
It’s in the House: an interview with Producer David Kaplan
Composing a Masterpiece: an interview with Composer Rich Vreeland 
A Girl’s World: an interview with Production Designer Michael Perry
It Follows – The Architecture of Loneliness: a video essay by Joseph Wallace

Limited Edition Contents
Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Thinh Dinh
150 page hardback book with new essays by Anne Billson, Martyn Conterio, Kat Ellinger, Eugenio Ercolani, Matt Glasby, Kat Hughes, Jennie Kermode and Katie Rife 
6 collectors’ art cards 

“Crimes of the Future” Special Features

Dual format edition including both UHD and Blu-ray with main feature and bonus features on both discs
UHD presented in Dolby Vision HDR
New audio commentary by Caelum Vatnsdal
Undeniably a Love Story: an interview with Director David Cronenberg
Things Change: an interview with Actor Viggo Mortensen
The Chaos Inside: an interview with Actor Léa Seydoux
The Heat and the Grime: an interview with Actor Kristen Stewart
The Bureau Man: a new interview with Actor Don McKellar
Painkiller: a new interview with Producer Robert Lantos
The Most Wonderful Dream: a new interview with Cinematographer Douglas Koch
The Code of David: a new interview with Editor Christopher Donaldson
New Flesh, Future Crimes: The Body and David Cronenberg – a video essay by Leigh Singer
The Making of Crimes of the Future
Production Design Materials
Short film: The Death of David Cronenberg

Limited Edition Contents
Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Marko Manev
120 page book with new essays by Reyna Cervantes, Tim Coleman, Joel Harley, Rich Johnson, Mikel J Koven, Phil Nobile Jr, Ian Schultz and Hannah Strong
6 collectors’ art cards 

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