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Fairy Tales: Early Colour Stencil films from Pathé [DVD]
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FAIRY TALES EARLY COLOUR STENCIL FIMS FROM PATHÉ
Once upon a time, during the belle époque in turn-of-the-century Paris, a short-lived film form called 'scènes de feeries'('fairy films') were produced in great number by the Pathé Frères company. In jewel-like colours the films recreated the theatrical spectacles of the age with their fantastical settings, dancing girls, mythical beasts, supernatural brings and a plethora of stage illusion enhanced by the trickery of the new medium of film. Made to appeal to young and old spectators alike, these gorgeous films offer modern audiences a fascinating glimpse into the magical world of the nineteen-century theatre.
Presented here with original hand-colouring, each film is accompanied with a newly-commissioned soundtrack composed by recording artists from the leading experimental music label Touch. Contributions from such acclaimed composers as Chris Watson, Fennesz, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Ryoji Ikeda, Philip Jeck, and BJNilsen combine with the beautiful images to create a unique and unforgettable experience.
- Newly commissioned scores by Touch artists, including Philip Jack, Fennesz and Chris Watson
- Au Pays de l'or (1908, 8 mins): a trip to the magical underground gold foundry of the dwarves
- Barbe-blue (1901, 11 mins): Georges Méliès telling of the Bluebeard tale with music by SAVX
- Little Red Riding Hood (1922, 8 mins): Anson Dyer's animation made for Hepworth Picture Plays with music by Rosy Parlane
- La Danse du diable(Sint-Lukas versions): nine alternative scores by students from Sint-Lukas Brussels University College of Art and Design
- Fully illustrated booklet with film notes and credits
France | 1902 -1908 | stencil-coloured, tinted, and black & white | silent with music | 156 minutes | DVD9 | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 | Dolby Digital stereo audio (320kbps) | Region 2 DVD
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Top Customer Reviews
Another thing is the booklet remark that no attempt has been made to restore or complete the films of the BFI National Archive with the support of other Film Archives holding fragments of titles on the DVD. This is no policy solely practised by the BFI. There are also DVDs from the Netherlands Filmmuseum (De wereld rond met Pathé 1910-1915), the Belge Cinemathèque (Animalomania) and the Filmarchiv Austria (Inferno) with the same approach. In fact, the Animalomania-DVD contains the same German print of "Martyrs chrétiens" as the BFI-DVD. There is also the same English version of one of my favorites, "La peine du talion", here called "Tit for Tat".Read more ›
That's why two of the decisions taken with this collection of hand-colored early films are hard to understand and to accept:
1) Films are not restored. Even the DVD producers state that other copies of these particular films exist in other places but that they didn't care to look for them in order to improve their prints of make them more complete. They argue proudly that they present all films as they were found on their archives, untouched, as if this was good in any way. The result is you get films with jumps here and there, no beginnings or no endings, some (if not all) of which could have been avoided by checking other prints in other film institutes in Europe. I'm sure BFI has their telephone numbers. Why to make the decision of presenting incomplete materials if that could have been prevented in a DVD meant to preserve those materials is something that escapes my mind. Obviously the original film producers didn't mean their films to be shown incomplete. So, to begin with, this is in my opinion a stupid and snob decision. On many cases, not even titles are put at the beginning of the films. If the original prints had no titles, then you get no titles on your DVD, which forces you to check on the menu or on the DVD box to understand what you at watching at, for in those cases films start abruptly.Read more ›
I think these probably played in some places with no sound at all. One of those places is in my living room. The films are little gems after muting the speakers!
Note: Not one of the above stars go to the musicians.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
....not for everyone (especially today's kids brought up on computer animation-but sufficient to be enjoyed as a historical archive well as a useful ''source '' record. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jumanji99