The fever of restoring some of the cinematic gems seems to have just started, as one more classic is all set to get its 4K Blu-ray release. This time, it’s legendary filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 masterpiece of science fiction noir, “Alphaville,” that will be getting a 4K treatment. “Alphaville” can now be watched in high-definition at home, as it comes to 4K Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

The set will feature an HDR/Dolby Vision master by StudioCanal from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. The set will also include a number of special features, including a full-length audio commentary by film critic and historian Tim Lucas; an interview with Anna Karina, the film’s female lead and Godard’s longtime muse; an introduction by Colin McCabe; and the film’s theatrical trailer. Moreover, the disc will include both the original French audio and an English dub, as well as optional English subtitles. The set will retail for $39.99 and will be released on August 13; it can be preordered from KinoLorber.com.

What is ‘Alphaville’ about?

Alphaville is a 1965 French New Wave science fiction neo-noir film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It stars Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Howard Vernon, and Akim Tamiroff. The film combines the genres of dystopian science fiction and film noir. Although it is set in the future, the characters also refer to twentieth-century events; for example, the hero describes himself as a Guadalcanal veteran.

In the movie, Constantine portrays the lead role of Lemmy Caution, a trenchcoat-wearing secret agent. He is an aging American detective sent to infiltrate the futuristic city of Alphaville on a mission to recover a missing agent, capture or kill Professor von Braun (Howard Vernon), the city’s creator, and destroy Alpha 60, the dictatorial computer that rules the city. In Alphaville, all free thought and emotion are banned, and logic rules. As Caution investigates, he meets von Braun’s daughter, Natacha (Karina), and falls in love with her, even as he seeks to eliminate her father. 

The character of Caution was originally created by British crime novelist Peter Cheyney, and a role akin to that had been portrayed by Constantine in dozens of his previous films. However, in Alphaville, director Jean-Luc Godard moves Caution away from his usual twentieth-century setting and places him in a futuristic sci-fi dystopia, the technocratic dictatorship of Alphaville.

The film explores themes of dehumanization, the loss of individuality, and the clash between emotion and logic. Alphaville won the Golden Bear Award at the 15th Berlin International Film Festival in 1965.

 Kino Lorber’s 4K release of Alphaville will hit stores on August 13, 2024.

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