Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shoot the Piano Player. A

Shoot the Piano Player is only 80 minutes long, and with a running time like that I seriously wonder how Truffaut managed to fit as much as he does in the film. Like all of his best movies, it comes across with subtle ease, like he wasn't even trying. The movie does have a plot concerning gangsters, but like most of Truffaut's work, it's really about the characters. In this case it's the piano player, charlie, a one-time star who is now just playing nights in a small restaurant. We learn early on that his brother is being chased by gangsters, and Charlie is subsequently pulled into the middle of the problem. Just when it looks like the plot might thicken, Truffaut pulls a neat truck by giving a lengthy flashback of Charlie's downfall as a celebrity pianist. Then it gets back to the story, which concludes with a masterfully shot action sequence on the snowy land surrounding Charlie's family home. Shoot the Piano Player is impressive, and works both as a homage to classic American gangster movies and as an example as to why Truffaut is considered one of the best filmmakers ever.

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