Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 203 - Shoot the Piano Player

Shoot the Piano (1960) directed by Francois Truffaut

I've watched a decent number of French New Wave films for this project but surprisingly none by Francois Truffaut, one of its early founders. I say this is surprising because I loved The 400 Blows. The very next film he directed after his heralded classic was Shoot the Piano Player, which is said to be Truffaut's homage to Hollywood gangster films that he loved.

The film follows the story of Charlie, a piano player working at a lowly dive bar. He used to be a great concert pianist but something terrible has gone wrong in his life, as to what is revealed slowly as the story goes on. Suddenly his brother walks into his bar in all sorts of trouble and Charlie is dragged back into the life he was trying to leave behind.

The film is a sort of mash up of genres as it incorporates the artsy French New Wave stuff with film noir, gangster thrown in with romance and comedy. It flows pretty effortlessly; you just got to read the subtitles to follow along which I admittedly missed some of due to heavy eyelids. It wasn't that the movie was boring or anything, just that I had just come back from a heavy dinner and was too relaxed. Even so, I enjoyed the story though it seemed much more of a "regular" movie than some of the other FNW stuff. Sorry I don't have much more to add than that. Shoot the Piano Player is a solid movie, but it didn't really do much for me one way or the other, though perhaps I should have paid a little more attention.

Grade: B-

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