Shoot The Pianist


Crime and arpreggios

It doesn’t get any more French New Wave than this. François Truffaut’s second feature (following the breakout success of The 400 Blows) is a fast, loose and often goofy adaptation of David Goodis’ crime novel. As ivory-tinkling anti-hero Charlie (Charles Aznavour) gets caught up in a madcap game of mobster cat-and-mouse, we’re battered with interior monologues, shoot-outs, extended musical interludes and philosophical musings.

While Raoul Coutard’s cinematography is tremendous, it’s all a bit of a hot mess, switching genres on impulse and stretching credibility to snapping point. Still, when the humour hits, it hits hard.

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