Little Tich

T. It.: Little Tich, Comico Inglese; Prod.: Pathé; 35mm. L.: 130 M. D.: 7′ A 16 F/S. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

By now we are used to the fact that most people (even our intellectual friends and cinema experts) know nothing about cinema before 1914 (or before 1920). While reading their minds – those primitive fidgety bits and pieces before the real cinema begins – we deal our best hand: “By the way, films have never again been as rich in colour!” We discovered the films and their colours twenty years ago, thanks to the pioneering work of the Nederlands Filmmuseum. Its aesthetic experimental approach liberated the films from being mainly documents of early cine­ma or precursors of something else to come and allowed them to reappear in the present as an event, a visual experience. There is a fairly clear correlation between the colouring processes and the production genres: scènes comiques and scènes d’arts et d’industries are usually in black and white, whereas toning and imbibition were used for scènes dramatiquesScènes à trucs and féeries et contes are polychrome genres, first hand-coloured (the flames, the sign of an apparition!), then stencil-coloured (pochoir). The féeries, a production series for children, were the longest and most luxurious films produced, from 1900 with Aladin et la lampe merveilleuse (230m) through 1907 (Légende de Polichinelle, 410m). They were gradually replaced by costume films for adults.Pochoir is complicated and costly. In 1906-1908, the years of the onset of mass production, Pathé developed a mechanical pochoir process – the Pathécolor.

Mariann Lewinsky

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