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Sur un air de Charleston (1927)

Shot in three days, this surreal, erotic silent short shows a native white girl teaching a futuristic African airman the Charleston dance.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Johnny Hudgins ...
Pierre Braunberger ...
Angel
André Cerf ...
Angel
Pierre Lestringuez ...
Angel
...
Angel
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Shot in three days, this surreal, erotic silent short shows a native white girl teaching a futuristic African airman the Charleston dance.

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Short | Sci-Fi

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19 March 1927 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Charleston  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The Culture of the White Aborigines
15 February 2010 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

This is an odd one and no mistake. In 2028, a black man (in black face and minstrel costume) pilots an orb to a savage land that once was Paris. There, he finds a native girl – a scantily-clad Catherine Hessling (Mrs Renoir) – who ties him to a post before dancing the Charleston. That's about all the story there is really. At one point, the girl draws a telephone which becomes real and uses it to a phone a group of bodiless angels (her hubby amongst them).

Although the plot-free film quickly becomes rather tiresome because of its protracted dance sequences, it looks quite fascinating. Renoir repeatedly slows the motion while Hessling dances to turn what is essentially a frenetic jig into something altogether more sensuous, and the picture of a black-faced, top-hatted man dancing on a sunny, ruined street is one of those peculiar images that will forever be etched in my mind (even though I'll probably be asking if anyone knows which film it's from on the 'I Need to Know' board in a couple of years).

The version I watched was completely silent, with no musical score at all. Some kind of music would have helped things along a bit, but I guess it would have been difficult to accompany all those slow-motion sequences effectively. Definitely worth a look for its curiosity value, but not really a film of much substance.


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