While Fido is in the car with Momo and Ernest and Momo says that Fido sounds like a dog's name. Momo than says, "Here's a tip: Never leave the door open. My pop used to say, 'If someone knocks, assume it's a murderer. If it's just a robber, you'll be happy."
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It's my favorite Truffaut film, not because it's the best but because it's the most enjoyable.
Truffaut leaves too much that is not clear as he concentrates on individual scenes.
Truffaut's stylized and self-reflexive melodrama employs the hallmarks of French New Wave cinema: extended voice-overs, out-of-sequence shots, and sudden jump cuts. The film's cinematography by Raoul Coutard was often grainy and kinetic, reflecting the emotional state of the characters, such as the scene in which Charlie hesitates before ringing a doorbell.
Plyne says, "You don't really believe that. I can see you've been through the wringer too, my boy." When Plyne says that Charlie is afraid, Charlie thinks about that word 'afraid' for a moment, realizing it is probably true. When Charlie leaves for the night Lena is outside waiting for him and Lena asks him to walk her home while a jealous Plyne watches the both of them from inside the dive. Charlie wants to hold Lena's hand and put his arm around but he can't find the strength to do it.
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Truffaut significantly changes Charlie's personality in Tirez sur le Pianiste. Originally, Goodis' Edward Webster Lynn (whom Truffaut adapts as Charlie) is “pictured as a relatively strong, self-confident guy who has chosen his solitude [whereas] Truffaut’s Charlie Kohler has found his isolation inevitably; he was always shy, withdrawn, reclusive.”
The film's script changed constantly during shooting. Truffaut said that "In Shoot the Piano Player I wanted to break with the linear narrative and make a film where all the scenes would please me. I shot without any criteria."
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A distinctively postwar Parisian creation, coldblooded and sentimental and wounded and whimsical, all at the same time.
The name Raymond Cauchetier may not ring a bell, but if you’re a fan of the French New Wave, and the films by such directors as Godard, Truffaut, and Varda that defined it, odds are you’ve seen . . . Read more »
A landmark film that took the world three decades to accept
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A superb combination of genre movie and Truffaut's special brand of perfectly observed, humanist detail.
The character's of Momo and Ernest seem to be created by Truffaut with such great relish and delight and hearing them bicker back on forth about the driving styles of Ernest, their obnoxious views on women or that Momo's tie is Japanese, are really quite entertaining. Instead of Truffaut making the villains threatening and intimidating, he chose to make them more bumbling and not so bright stooges.
“Tragic comedy where thinking things over too much leads a sad sack musician into emotional turmoil, with fatal consequences for the women in his life.”
Edouard/Charlie flashes back to a time when he was a struggling pianist. It shows him frequently visit his fiancée Therese at work and they play a game of waitress and customer. He eventually marries her and the two are happily married for several years, but Edouard is struggling finding work as a pianist. During another trip to his wifes restaurant Edouard meets Lars Schmeel an impresario who likes Edouard's work and invites him to come to his apartment the next day.
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Truffaut significantly changes Charlie's personality in the film because originally, Goodis' Edward Webster Lynn (who Truffaut adapts as Charlie) is pictured as a relatively strong, self-confident guy who has chosen his solitude whereas Truffaut’s Charlie Kohler has found his isolation inevitably; he was always shy, withdrawn, reclusive.
The title has become somewhat of a joke on the club scene, usually to get a less-than-talented musician to stop performing, but occasionally breaks into the musical mainstream:
François Truffaut is drunk on the possibilities of cinema in this, his most playful film. Part thriller, part comedy, part tragedy, Shoot the Piano Player relates the adventures of mild-mannered piano player Charlie (Charles Aznavour, in a triumph of hangdog deadpan) as he stumbles into the criminal underworld and a whirlwind love affair. Loaded with gags, guns, clowns, and thugs, this razor-sharp homage to the American gangster film is pure nouvelle vague.
After the bar closes Plyne tells Charlie that the waitress Lena has her eye on him and wishes Leno would look at him like that saying, "I'm not her type. In fact I'm nobody's type. I'm just a big lug and too dumb to make women forget it." Plyne believes no women would like him and says that he is just an ugly mug and Charlie tells him to not be afraid of women and that women aren't poisonous.
Shoot the Piano Player was originally a novel titled Down There by David Goodis. The film 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.
Shoot The Piano Player (1962)
“A twisty, convoluted, often hilarious character study hiding in a crime thriller. Truffaut's shows how sometimes we wish to be different at any costs.”
The author recalls his encounters and correspondence with the filmmaker. Read more »
Antoine Doinel is now more than thirty. He divorces from Christine. He is a proofreader, and is in love with Sabine, a record seller. Colette, his teenager love, is now a lawyer. She buys ... See full summary »
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Often overlooked, Truffaut's wonderful second film stars Charles Aznavour, master of the chanson, in his only collaboration with the director.
Truffaut later told a reporter that Dubois was "neither a dame nor a sex kitten; she is neither lively nor "saucey. But she's a perfectly worthy young girl with whom it's conceivable you could fall in love and be loved in return." She would also later on have a small role in Truffaut's Jules and Jim, as the impulsive girl who does the infamous 'steam engine' trick with her cigarette.
Filming took place from November 30, 1959 until January 22, 1960 with some re-shoots for two weeks in March. Locations included a café called A la Bonne Franquette on the rue Mussard in Levallois, Le Sappey-en-Chartreuse, around Grenoble and throughout Paris. The film' budget was 890,062.95 francs, whereas The 400 Blows had been a tense shoot for Truffaut, his second film was a happy experience for the cast and crew after Truffaut's first success.
The film was financially unsuccessful, although it was popular among "cinephiles" such as Claude Miller. Miller was then a film student at IDHEC and later explained that he and his friends knew all the films dialogue by heart, stating, "We cited it all the time; it became a kind of in language."
The French New Wave featured unprecedented methods of expression, such as long tracking shots (like the famous traffic jam sequence in Godard's 1967 film Week End). Also, these movies featured existential themes, such as stressing the individual and the acceptance of the absurdity of human existence. Filled with irony and sarcasm, the films also tend to reference other films.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
At the heart of New Wave technique is the issue of money and production value. In the context of social and economic troubles of a post-World War II France, filmmakers sought low-budget alternatives to the usual production methods, and were inspired by the generation of Italian Neorealists before them. Half necessity and half vision, New Wave directors used all that they had available to channel their artistic visions directly to the theatre.
Claude Massoulier is murdered while hunting at the same place than Julien Vercel, an estate agent that knew him and whose fingerprints are found on Massoulier's car. As the police discovers... See full summary »
The next morning Clarisse gets up to leave and Charlie says he will see her later that night again. Charlie wakes up Fedo for school and while getting dressed Fedo notices the two men named Momo and Ernest that were after Charlie's brother Chico drive up to the apartment and are waiting for him in their vehicle. Fedo decides to help his brother Charlie so he quickly leaves the apartment and rounds up a few of his neighbor friends as they attack the two men's vehicle with balloons.
Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her.
Cahiers du cinéma writers critiqued the classic "Tradition of Quality" style of French Cinema. Bazin and Henri Langlois, founder and curator of the Cinémathèque Française, were the dual godfather figures of the movement. These men of cinema valued the expression of the director's personal vision in both the film's style and script.