BTW, I found it interesting that WB not only let the BFI allow this version to be shown once, but twice as part of this upcoming series.
They've authorised several screenings over the last eight years - I saw it myself in November 2004, and that certainly wasn't its only outing. It played at last year's East End Film Festival, and again in March to tie in with the DVD release.
Maybe they are finally starting to loosen up with the film, and maybe here in the States we'll be able to see a release similar to that of the BFI from a company like Criterion.
As I understand it, the problem is that Warner UK and Warner US have very different attitudes towards the film. Warner UK was all set to release the 2004 semi-reconstruction on DVD in 2005, which was when Russell & co. recorded the commentary that ended up on the BFI disc. It never appeared, and rumours that Warner US pulled the plug are probably true.
Warner US has always
hated the film, from the day they first saw it. They cut it to ribbons in the US without Russell's authorisation, and that version's the only one that's ever been officially available over there - even a release of the UK cinema cut (i.e. the one on the BFI DVD) would be a huge leap forward.