Shoot the Piano Player  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Shoot the Piano Player (French: Tirez sur le pianiste, aka Shoot the Pianist) is a 1960 French film directed by François Truffaut.

Truffaut's stylized and self-reflexive melodrama employs the hallmarks of French New Wave cinema: extended voice-overs, out-of-sequence shots, sudden jump cuts, and more.

The film is loosely based on the novel Down There by David Goodis. It shares the novel's bleak plot about a man hiding from his shattered life by doing the only thing he knows how to do, while remaining unable to escape the past. However, Truffaut's work resolves itself into both a tribute to the American genre of literary and cinematic noir and a meditation on the relationship between art and commercialism.

Plot

A washed-up classical pianist, Charlie Kohler/Eduard Saroyan (Charles Aznavour), bottoms out after his wife's suicide — stroking the keys in a Parisian dive bar. The waitress, Lena (Marie Dubois), is falling in love with Charlie, who it turns out is not who he says he is. When his brothers get in trouble with gangsters, Charlie inadvertently gets dragged into the chaos and is forced to rejoin the family he once fled.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Shoot the Piano Player" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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