Martin Scorsese’s legendary music concert documentary The Last Waltz is to be given an official Criterion Collection release. The 1978 film, which sees Scorsese capture The Band’s 1976 farewell concert, will be given a 4K digital restoration and will feature new audio commentary versions with the likes of Robbie Robertson, Mavis Staples, and others.
The new Criterion Collection version of The Last Waltz will also feature an interview with Scorsese himself, conducted by critic David Fear. It will be available on Blu-Ray and 4k UHD from March 29, 2022.
Filmed at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom on Thanksgiving, 1976, The Last Waltz saw Scorsese film The Band’s final concert with the aid of seven separate camera operators (including the legendary cinematographers Vilmos Zsigmond, László Kovács, and Michael Chapman) who captured performances by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Niel Young, the Staple Singers – all alongside The Band’s final performance.
This forthcoming Criterion release will include a 1978 interview with Robbie Robertson and Martin Scorsese, a ‘making of’ documentary about the technical aspects of filming The Last Waltz, and a special essay written by the music journalist, Amanda Petrusich.
In an official description, Criterion describes the concert as: “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…Scorsese created a grandly immersive experience that brings viewers onstage and inside the music itself”.
Supervised and approved by Robbie Robertson himself, Criterion’s 4K digital restoration features surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and will be released in two editions: a multi-format set and a single Blu-ray. Criterion’s double-disc release is on offer for about $35, while the Blu-ray is priced at $28.