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Shoot the Piano Player!

Truffaut, hot off The 400 Blows, his masterpiece of adolescent dread, completely changes directions with Shoot the Piano Player!, a film influenced by Hollywood gangster movies that trades in claustrophobic framing for black-and-white Cinemascope grandeur and invention on a small scale. “France’s Frank Sinatra” Charles Aznavour (The Tin Drum, Un Flic) stars as Charlie Koller/Eduoard Saroyan, a nightclub pianist in the depths of depression following the death of his wife. Léna (Marie Dubois), a waitress, is falling in love with Charlie, but his past, unclear at best, begins to catch up with him—threatening not only his newfound love but much, much more. “Even more than Breathless, this 1960 Truffaut was the movie that broke the French new wave on American audiences. The mode is romantic gangster soulfulness; the theme is the audio equivalent of a pack of Gitanes.”—J. Hoberman, The Village Voice.

Genres: Crime, Comedy, Drama

Other Films by François Truffaut

Small Change

Following his critical successes with The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, and other films, Truffaut achieved his greatest commercial success with Small Change, a slice-of-life portrait of a school class that showcases the spectrum of personalities contained within. Shot using mostly non-professional actors, it is at once a snapshot of France in the mid-1970s and

The 400 Blows

Truffaut’s autobiographical first feature remains for many his best film. Drawing upon his early years as an orphan, Truffaut gives subtle and realistic meaning to the Chinese proverb about the 400 blows of childhood. Jean-Pierre Léaud plays Antoine Doinel, a neglected 12-year-old who rebels against school and escapes to freedom. The second of five films

Jules and Jim

One of the French New Wave’s great period pieces and one of Truffaut’s greatest love stories, Jules and Jim offers a nostalgic look at a ménage à trois that begins before World War I and concludes with the outbreak of National Socialism. In between these landmark historical events, this magical adaptation of the Henri-Pierre Roche