All posts by Stephen Slaughter Head

About Stephen Slaughter Head

Stephen Slaughter Head co-founded the much-loved movie news website IGN FilmForce. He has more than 2,000 published articles at His filmmaking interviews, reviews and features have been published at AOL, Script magazine, Esquire magazine and the Boston Phoenix. He is also the host of the Diabolique Webcast at You can contact him directly on Twitter at

The Somerville’s Theatre’s 70mm Film Fest – A Brief Interview with Projectionist David Kornfeld

Photo: CinemaNitrate
Photo: CinemaNitrate

Silverado is going to play over at the Somerville Theatre on September 21st at 7:30 PM, and won’t be projected digitally, the way most theaters do things. It won’t be projected from a 35mm print either; which, from a cinephiles’ perspective, is a more preferred way. It will projected from a 70mm print with 6-track Dolby Stereo sound, the best possible way a film can be experienced – that’s what the Somerville’s committed to.

Their 70mm and Widescreen Festival begins tonight with Lawrence of Arabia at 8 PM and runs through September 25th.

I spoke with projectionist David Kornfeld about putting the event together.

CINEMA NITRATE: You’ve been wanting to do this festival for a long time, and it was a matter of finally getting all of the equipment together, and you were very particular about it. How long did it take you to get all of this stuff?

KORNFELD: It’s been in the making for 12 years. I think with getting all the sound system elements, that took me something like 6 to 8 years.

CN: The Somerville showed some 70mm titles last year, like The Wild Bunch and 2001. Were these a sort of test-run for the festival?

KORNFELD: Yes, the system went active last year and we ran a bunch of 70mm movies over the course of the year. I wanted to be sure that if there were any glitches or bugs in the system, we could take care of them before the festival. I’m cautious. I don’t want to have this big festival, and all of a sudden in the middle of it discover this gigantic glitch. It would be embarrassing.

CN: You ran The Untouchables in 70mm earlier this year, and I must say, the sound was impressive.

KORNFELD: Well, in my opinion we have the best sound system in New England – the right speakers, the right amps, the right processors. We did everything right here.

Photo: CinemaNitrate
Photo: CinemaNitrate

CN: Looking at the list of films, there are some real gems, particularly in my opinion Sleeping Beauty and Mad World. Which films are the one’s that you think people really need to see?

KORNFELD: I wouldn’t miss Lawrence of Arabia, and I wouldn’t miss Lord Jim, because Lord Jim never screens. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World was of course filmed in Ultra Panavision and needs to be seen this way. And Sleeping Beauty is the only existing 70mm print.

CN: Wasn’t Sleeping Beauty the first widescreen animated feature film?

KORNFELD: No, that would be Lady and the Tramp. Sleeping Beauty was the first of the animated feature to be shot in Technirama, which is anamorphic VistaVision.

CN: Being one of the few films shot in Ultra Panavision, Mad World has a certain preeminence in the history of this format.

KORNFELD: It was designed to be seen on the big screen, as were all of the things we’re running. These films were made it without even the thought of ever being seen on a home system or something like an iPhone. They were made to be seen big. And with an audience. You don’t even get a fraction of the picture information on something like an iPhone or any home media. The resolution, the detail and the color spectrum are reduced or missing. Comparatively it’s embarrassing.

CN: Have most of these films not been seen in this format in Boston since their original release?

KORNFELD: Lawrence of Arabia has, and Sleeping Beauty has. The last time Sleeping Beauty ran around here was in the 1980s.

Photo: CinemaNitrate
A gorgeous 70mm print of ‘West Side Story’ will screen twice: Saturday, September 17th at 8 PM and Thursday, September 22nd at 8 PM. Photo: CinemaNitrate

CN: How long do you think the area is gone without 70mm capability?

KORNFELD: It’s been some time; most of the theaters that could run the format have long since closed. Right now, the Somerville is the only venue in the area that can run the format without needing any equipment or modifications. We have the only permanent installation.

CN: Considering the really great turn-outs the Somerville had for The Wild Bunch and 2001, are you confident the festival will attract similar attendance?

KORNFELD: I don’t know how well we’re going to do with this. I hope it does well. If it does well then we get to do another one next year. This was a long time coming, and it’s very expensive, and we’re hoping that the audience does show up!

CN: Is al it worth the work?

KORNFELD: Well, yeah, it’s a lot of extra work, but it’s worth it because it’s the best way to see a movie.

CN: It is. I think Boston moviegoers are pretty fortunate to have the opportunity see films presented this way. Unfortunately there aren’t many theaters around anymore that can offer this sort of viewing experience.

KORNFELD: There aren’t many people left around who actually understand and really know how to run this format. The experts in projecting this format have mostly retired or passed away. It’s a perishable skill. Next year, theaters are going to run straight into this problem when Dunkirk is released; the film that Christopher Nolan shot in 70mm. But everything will be fine here, so watch that here.

Podcast #201 – ‘Finding Dory,’ ‘Dr. Strangelove,’ ‘Cutter’s Way’ and More!

Steve Head and John Black discuss the new theatrical, home video and film book releases…

Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory


The Criterion Collection’s Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb


Twilight Time’s Cutter’s Way


Paramount Pictures’ Anomalisa


Magnolia Home Entertainment’s The Wave


Oldcastle Books’ An Introduction to Film: A Director’s Perspective by Alex Cox


Pantheon Books’ William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come by James Curtis


Universal Pictures’ Mr Right


Remember: if you leave us an iTunes review, you will have done perhaps the most wonderful thing we can ask for!


‘The Sound of Music’ 50th Anniversary Blu-ray/CD Release and TCM Gala Screening Set

© 20th Century Fox
© 20th Century Fox

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music, and Fox Home Entertainment is intent to make the most of it. The company will release The Sound of Music: 5-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition 50th Anniversary Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD Set on March 10.

The set will include 13 hours of bonus features, with its centerpiece being a new documentary: The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg – in which Ms. Andrews revisits the film’s scenic locations, including Modessee Abbey, Nonnberg Abbey and the steps at Mirabell Gardens, where she and the children performed “Do-Re-Mi.” Featurettes on the disc will focus on movie’s legacy, its music and the real-life von Trapp family.

And something that’s sure to please soundtrack collectors, the set will also include an exclusive CD soundtrack featuring the FULL film score with never-before released tracks and 8 international bonus tracks never released in the US.

Continuing Fox’s recognition of The Sound of Music‘s 50th anniversary, a restored print of the film will open the TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles on March 26. Ms. Andrews and Christopher Plummer will be in attendance and participate in a post-screening Q&A with Turner Classic Movies’ host Robert Osborne. The film will then screen nationwide on April 19 and 22 via Fox’s partnership with Fathom Events.

© Fox Home Entertainment
© Fox Home Entertainment

Check Out This Rare T-Rex Rehearsal Footage from ‘Jurassic Park’

Special Effects master Stan Winston and his animatronic T-Rex on the set of 'Jurassic Park.'
Special Effects master Stan Winston and his animatronic T-Rex on the set of ‘Jurassic Park.’

In case you missed it, the crew over at the Stan Winston School added this amazing T-Rex rehearsal footage from the set of Jurassic Park to their YouTube page. This is the kind of thing that would appear as a bonus feature on a disc, but it hasn’t. It’s good old RARE behind-the-scenes footage. And it shows how incredibly life-like the T-Rex was in its non-digital form. Check it out…

First Official ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Photo of the Millennium Falcon


Fortune Magazine has what essentially is the first officially-released photo of the Millennium Falcon from the Pinewood Studios set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

As noted in Fortune magazine’s article, the image is a photograph of Disney CEO Bob Iger…

…taken for Fortune in NY. Scene with Millennium Falcon in Pinewoods Studio, Buckinghamshire, England, is a composite image created by Industrial Light & Magic for Fortune.”

Click on the images above and below for high res versions.


‘Entourage’ Trailer Debuts


Warner Bros. has released the new trailer the Entourage movie. The film opens nationwide on June 5, 2015. Click on the media player below and check it out.

Summary: Entourage, the much-anticipated big-screen version of the award-winning hit HBO series, reunites the show’s original cast, led by Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven. Movie star Vincent Chase (Grenier), together with his boys, Eric (Connolly), Turtle (Ferrara) and Johnny (Dillon), are back…and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood. Also starring are Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment as father and son, Larsen and Travis McCredle. Returning cast from the series also includes Perrey Reeves as Ari Gold’s wife; Emmanuelle Chriqui as Sloan; Rhys Coiro as Billy Walsh; Debi Mazar as Vince’s publicist, Shauna; Rex Lee as Lloyd; Constance Zimmer as Dana Gordon; and Nora Dunn as Dr. Marcus. Emily Ratajkowski appears as herself. Rounding out the cast are Alan Dale, who appeared in the series, rapper Scott Mescudi, and Rhonda Rousey.

Watch Some of the Bonus Features on ‘The Boxtrolls’ Blu-ray


One of my favorite films this past year was The Boxtrolls. The gang at Laika animation studios does such incredible work. And with the forthcoming release of The Boxtrolls on Blu-ray and DVD, you’ll get to see how they created this world.

What we have for you here are four new clips from the Blu-ray’s special features. The clips are entitled: “Cheese Shop Storyboards,” “Incredible,” “Old School” and “The Waltz.” Click on the media player below and check ’em out.

The Boxtrolls will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 20th.

Summary: Quirky, mischievous and good-hearted, the Boxtrolls are unique creatures who have lovingly raised a human boy named Eggs in a fantastical charming cavern below the bustling streets of Cheesebridge. But when the evil Archibald Snatcher schemes to capture Eggs’ family, it’s up to Eggs and his feisty new friend Winnie to save the Boxtrolls!

Cast: Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan and Simon Pegg

Bonus Features Exclusive to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack


  • Play with Commentary by Directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable
  • Baby In The Trash
  • Eggs In The Underworld
  • Man On A Horse
  • Trubshaw’s Inventorium
  • Cheese Shop
  • Tea And Cheese

Bonus Features on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack and DVD


    The tremendously talented cast members of The Boxtrolls discuss what it’s like to voice an animated puppet, what each actor brought to his/her role, whether their personalities were similar to their characters, and more.
    The directors, producers, and creative supervisor of character fabrication Georgina Hayns share the challenges of crafting characters who are inside a box.
    The directors and producers are joined by Brian McLean, director of Rapid Prototyping, to discuss how the animation studio LAIKA creates the faces for their puppets. The big story here – literally! – is how Snatcher’s face changes shape due to his cheese allergy.
    Discover how LAIKA combined traditional stop-motion animation with visual effects in order to create the beautiful ballroom dance sequence – and how costume designer Deborah Cook met the challenge of creating costumes that could flow during a dance scene.
    Standing 5 feet tall and weighing over 75 pounds, the Mecha-Drill is the largest stop motion puppet/prop ever created by LAIKA. Follow its creation from design to completion.




‘The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death’ Featurette and Clips


Relativity Media has provided us a featurette and three clips from the forthcoming horror flick The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death. Click on the media players below and check ’em out.

Synopsis: During the London bombings of World War II, school teachers Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox) and Jean Hogg (Helen McCrory) lead a group of children in evacuation to Crythin Gifford, a remote village outside of the city. When the group takes up residence at the Eel Marsh House, 40 years after Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) investigated the first haunting, Eve soon realizes they are not alone. The longer they stay in the house, the more the awful past of the residence unravels itself and the evil spirit that lurks around them threatens the well-being of the children. With the help of a pilot (Jeremy Irvine), Eve does all that she can to protect the children and discover the truth behind the Woman in Black.

Release: January 2, 2015
Director: Tom Harper
Written by: Jon Croker
Cast: Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine and Helen McCrory

‘The Babadook’: “How the ‘Dook Stole Christmas” Holiday E-Card


The Babadook is definitely one of my favorite horror films this year. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

If you have seen it, and you’ve got a friend who digs The Babadook, then you might want to send them a link to this new E-Card from IFC. Click on the video below and check it out…

Download Link:

Summary: Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son’s behaviour, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.

The Babadook is now playing in select theaters and available on VOD.

‘Veronika Decides To Die’: Sarah Michelle Gellar Film Gets New Trailer & Poster


Entertainment One Films has released a new trailer and poster for Sarah Michelle Geller’s Veronica Decides to Die. The film opens in select theaters, and will be available On Demand, on January 20th.

Synopsis: After a frantic suicide attempt, Veronika awakens inside a mysterious mental asylum. Under the supervision of an unorthodox psychiatrist who specializes in controversial treatment, Veronika learns that she has only weeks to live.

Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jonathan Tucker, Erika Christensen, David Thewlis, Melissa Leo
Directed by: Emily Young
Written by: Larry Gross, Roberta Hanley