After her father's death and her uncle having drunk all the inheritance, Virginia is left alone. She is accepted by a family of bohemians but a quarrel between the bohemians and the ... See full summary »
Mr. Joly, doctor Cordelier's lawyer, is amazed to discover that his client and friend leaves his possessions to a stranger, Opale, a sadistic criminal. He needs this man to prove that people's behavior can be adjusted at will...
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A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.
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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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