Tag Archives: Somerville Theater

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.

BOFCA Podcast #14 – ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘Scanners,’ ‘Blazing Saddles’ and More!

Director Bong Joon-ho’s SNOWPIERCER screens July 4–13 at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. ©2014 RADiUS-TWC

IT’S TIME … for some movie discussion!

On this episode of the Boston Online Film Critic’s Association podcast, members Bob Chipman, Dave Reidel and Steve Head discuss films screening this month at The Brattle Theater, The Coolidge Corner Theater, The Harvard Film Archive, The Somerville Theater and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, including Snowpiercer, Conan the Barbarian, Metropolis, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Scanners, Blazing Saddles and more.

Click on the media player below and enjoy the show!


IFFBoston 2011 – Ep. #5 – Our interview with Actor/Director Evan Glodell (‘Bellflower’)

The Medusa. All fired up in 'Bellflower.'

Joining us on the podcast is actor/director/techie Evan Glodell, the man responsible for Bellflower – which has its New England premiere this weekend at the Independent Film Festival Boston.

The interview was conducted in Boston a few hours prior to Bellflower‘s first screening at the Somerville Theater.

Click on the links below and enjoy!

IFFBoston 2011 – Ep. #4 – Our interview with Director Jim Mickle (‘Stake Land’)

Director, and vampire victim, Jim Mickle in 'Stake Land.'

Joining us on the podcast is Jim Mickle, director of the apocalyptic vampire flick Stake Land – which has its New England premiere tonight at midnight at the Somerville Theater, as part of the Independent Film Festival Boston.

In this 25-minute interview, we discuss the making of Stake Land. And, most importantly, how Stake Land isn’t anything like Twilight or True Blood. Raw, rabid, gutsy action is good.

Click on the links below and enjoy!

Elmo’s Q&A at the Somerville Theater (‘Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey’)

The Independent Film Festival Boston 2011 kicked things off last night with a screening of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. After the film, Elmo did a Q&A with the audience. Here’s a few clips…

Elmo Greets the Kids

Elmo’s Impersonation of Barry White

A Lady Walks Out on Elmo’s Q&A

Elmo Answers Questions from the Somerville Theater Balcony – Elmo is asked: What one word of advice do you have for the public at large? What do you do to pass the time? What’s it like working with Oscar the Grouch on a TV show? Does Kevin Clash ever do anything to make you angry?

Elmo’s Advice for Those Who Are Afraid of the Dark – Elmo is asked: Can I examine your hands? Can you dance? And, what advice do you have for those afraid of the dark?

Video: Kevin Kline at The Independent Film Festival Boston

Last night at the Somerville Theater, in Somerville, Ma, The Independent Film Festival Boston kicked off it’s 2010 program with a screening of The Extra Man. Afterward, actor Kevin Kline and director Robert Pulcini discussed the making of the movie .

The video features a moment that occurred toward the end of the Q&A: After many years, a fan finally gets to ask Mr. Kline his question.

Click here to check it out.