Wed

21/07

Cinema Jolly > 10:30

Komiya Collection – Pathé, Pathécolor, F.A.I.

Introduced by

Mariann Lewinsky

Piano accompaniment by

Stephen Horne

A programme to showcase the distinctive qualities of Pathé films: complex narratives, great performers and the peerless Pathécolor technique of colouring black-and-white prints by means of stencils.
The anonymous Le Dévouement de prêtre (1907) features an amazing plot (with a hint of The Treasure of Sierra Madre), that suggests director Albert Capellani, whose Scènes dramatiques et réalistes of 1906-1907 are consistently above average in length, narrative complexity and visual style. Pathé performers Stacia Napierkowska, Mistinguett, Max Linder and Charles Prince gained unprecedented popularity in 1909-1910, and are counted among the very first film stars. Linder and Napierkowska (who was gay) appeared as a couple in several films; Prince and Mistinguett likewise (see Les Timidités de Rigadin, in chapter 4).
As for Pathécolor, we simply adore it. So did Tomijiro Komiya. Much of the work of Rome-based F.A.I., Pathé’s affiliate company, has survived only in black-and-white negatives (in Paris). However, luckily a number of stencil-coloured positive prints distributed in Japan found their way to Tomijiro Komiya, among them Il re fantasma, La figlia del cieco (in the opening programme), and the gorgeous unidentified No. 5563 (in Tales and Dreams).
The earliest films in the collection can be dated to 1907, and unsurprisingly, the majority of the titles from 1907-1911 – 16 out of the 24 so far identified – were produced by Pathé and its affiliate S.C.A.G.L. These proportions reflect Pathé’s domination of the international market in those years, as it pursued systematic expansion and standardisation. Daily production from its plant in Joinville-le-Pont reached 300 prints in autumn 1906 and 475 prints (with an overall length of 60,000m) in spring 1907 (Stéphanie Salmon, Pathé. À la conquête du cinéma 1896-1929, Tallandier, 2014). Now cinema was born and venues opened up everywhere, as the quantity of titles and prints produced by Pathé in the full gamut of genres permitted a continuous programme, which was changed frequently. Pathé continued its expansion by opening affiliate companies in Europe, Asia and the US, producing its own film stock and introducing the modern rental system of film distribution in 1909. But the foundation of it all was the quality of its films.

Mariann Lewinsky

Projection
Info

Wednesday 21/07/2021
10:30

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

Book

DANS L’HELLADE

Director: Charles Decroix
Year: 1909
Country: Francia
Running time: 7'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

LE DÉVOUEMENT DE PRÊTRE

Director: Albert Capellani
Year: 1907
Country: Francia
Running time: 10'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

LE VOLEUR MONDAIN

Year: 1909
Country: Francia
Running time: 7' 30''
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

IL RE FANTASMA

Director: Ugo Falena
Year: 1914
Country: Italia
Running time: 31'
Film Version

English intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2021