Renoir, and Surrealist Paris in Black and White

by Guillaume Hazebrouck, Olivier Thémines and Emmanuel Parent

Renoir, and Surrealist Paris in Black and White
A short film directed by Renoir in the late twenties, right after he had discovered jazz, Sur un air de Charleston is a little masterpiece, albeit unknown, of the silent movie period. In 2028 Paris, a mysterious African explorer lands with his aeronef on Terra Incognita. There, he meets a beautiful young Parisian dancer, who eventually initiates him to the pleasures of Charleston.
An essay in reverse anthropology, a burlesque and surrealist vaudeville, Sur un air de Charleston is a singular piece of art. A product of the roaring twenties, it can be construed as a critique of France’s racial context, then at the height of its colonial Empire. But it also has to be considered on the much broader scale of transatlantic cultural exchanges. Thus, we start to envision some of the unsuspected links that irrigate and reconfigure the seamingly neat cartography of Western modernism.
Two musicians, Olivier Thémines and Guillaume Hazebrouck, invite you with anthropologist Emmanuel Parent to discover this astonishing movie with a « ciné-concert/conference ». The movie, accompanied by a live original music, will be followed by a lecture and discussion on the question of race within the artistic context of 1920s France.

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