The Band’s ‘Last Waltz’ Special Edition Announced
The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese’s movie about the Band’s final show in 1976, will be released in a new special edition on March 29 as part of the Criterion Collection.
Approved by Scorsese himself, the set includes a 4K restored version of the 1978 film supervised by guitarist Robbie Robertson. It’s presented with a new cover along with 5.1 and alternate stereo soundtracks, two audio commentaries, a new interview with Scorsese, a 2002 making-of documentary, outtakes, promotional material from the original release and an essay by critic Amanda Petrusich. The standard edition includes a single Blu-ray disc, and another version contains a 4K UHD disc with the movie in Dolby Vision HDR.
“More than just one of the greatest concert films ever made, The Last Waltz is an at-once ecstatic and elegiac summation of a vital era in American rock music,” Criterion said in a statement. “Enlisting seven camera operators … Scorsese created a grandly immersive experience that brings viewers onstage and inside the music itself. That music – as performed by the Band and a host of other generation-defining artists, including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, the Staple Singers, Muddy Waters and Neil Young – lives on as an almost religious expression of the transcendent possibilities of rock 'n' roll.”
Speaking in 2019, Scorsese recalled how the project grew from discussions with Robertson and how they decided to push technological boundaries. “Shooting 35mm for this kind of event just wasn't done,” he said. “It was too tricky; the sync motors would break, cameras would run out of film. You have to be overlapping [cameras], you have to design the whole thing so that cameras wouldn't move. The concert turned out to be about seven hours, so it was quite a thing!”
The new edition of The Last Waltz is available for pre-order now, with 30% off during December.