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CHARLESTON PARADE (SUR UN AIR DE CHARLESTON) (director: Jean Renoir; screenwriter: Pierre Lestringuez/idea by Andre Cerf; cinematographer: Jean Bachelet; cast: Catherine Hessling (Parisian Savage), Johnny Huggins (African Explorer), Pierre Braunberger(Angel); Runtime: 20; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Pierre Braunberger; Lionsgate; 1927-silent-France-in French with English subtitles)
Nonsense sci-fi short.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Nonsense sci-fi short adapted by Pierre Lestringuez from a story by Andre Cerf. The satire on the reversal of racial stereotypes by director Jean Renoir (“La Marseillaise”/The Little Match Girl”/”The Elusive Corporal”)fails to be either funny or effective.This one would have been better off never released.

In 2028, a black explorer from Africa(Johnny Huggins, a black man appearing in minstrel blackface make-up), dressed in a tuxedo and top hat, lands in a desolate Paris and meets a dancing native white girl (Catherine Hessling) and a man dressed in a monkey suit. Thenative girl teaches him the Charleston, which he thinks is part of a savage ritual before she eats him. Instead she tirelessly teaches him the dance, and he thinks he’s discovered the source of the Aborigine white dancethe Charleston.

A few surreal touches abound, like a phone mysteriously drawn into the explorer’s crude spaceship so he could talk to an angel.This is the kind of film shot in film school by a student and not one released by a great director.

REVIEWED ON 12/31/2010 GRADE: C-

Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”