On December 3, the BFI (British Film Institute) will release a DVD, Fairy Tales: Early Colour Stencil Films from Pathé, featuring new music by artists associated with the Touch label and publishing imprint.
We’ll let the BFI explain more about the films themselves:
“Once upon a time, during the belle époque in Paris, a short-lived film form called scènes de feeries, or fairy films, became popular thanks to the Pathé Frères company. Made to appeal to young and old alike, the films recreated the theatrical spectacles of the age in jewel-like colours.
“These gorgeous films feature fantastical settings, dancing girls, mythical beasts, supernatural beings and a plethora of stage tricks. Enhanced by the techniques of the then-new medium of film, they give modern audiences a fascinating glimpse into the magical world of the nineteenth-century theatre.”
The release of Fairy Tales represents the first time that these hand-coloured shorts have been made available on DVD, and is if that wasn’t reason enough to investigate, the BFI has commissioned a new soundtrack for each film, by recording artists from the Touch stable – including Fennesz (pictured above), Philip Jeck, BJ Nilsen, Hildur Gudnadottir, Joachim Nordwall, Sohrab and Oren Ambarchi.
The DVD, which has a total run time of 164 mins and is set to retail at £19.99 is presented with bonus features and an illustrated booklet with an introductory erssay by the BFI’s silent film Bryony Dixon and an essay by Touch’s Mike Harding.
For more information and pre-orders, click here.