A Perfectly Hand-stencilled Colour

Les petits pifferari
R and actors unknown. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1909
Print: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

“A beautifully hand-stencilled tale of a two siblings who meet up with a travelling musician and start performing in cafes with great success. (…) While copies of some of the international productions exist at other archives around the world, the new NFSA Restores digital prints were produced using the highest technological standards, giving the black and white and hand-coloured films a new lease of life.”
National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA)

“A grieving mother sends her two young children out to earn a living. No one seems willing to help them. The gendarmes are busy standing around a crossroads, a monseigneur sends them on. Finally an old man sits them down and teaches them how to sing. It’s not a particularly startling short movie for the era, although I expect when it was shown in the larger theaters, live performers sang some song or other offscreen, and then offered the sheet music for sale. (…) Far too many of the surviving examples have registration issues, or the coloring has faded or become blotchy, or something. This one, however, has no such issue. The black-and-white work is pristine, the coloring is restrained and perfectly judged. It is occasionally noted that silent movies were never really silent. They almost invariably had musical accompaniment. Here’s proof that they weren’t all in black and white.”
IMDb (boblipton)

>>> The Colours of Pathé

>>> Colours True to Nature