Tirez sur le pianiste (Shoot the Piano Player) (1960) dir. François Truffaut
Shoot the Piano Player was Truffaut's second feature film, after The 400 Blows. Godard's Breathless, which Truffaut wrote an initial treatment for, was released the same year. The two helped set a tone of homage/spoof that later French New Wave films would follow.
Piano Player has the same elements of plot that American gangster films have. A man trying to hide from his past. A chance encounter with violence draws him back in. A new love wants to replace his old love. But Piano Player doesn't treat these elements as dramatic set-pieces. Instead, they're mixed and matched together. Truffaut seems more like a child playing than an adult telling a story. And that's not a bad thing.
Shoot the Piano Player is #227 on the 2012 edition of the TSPDT 1,000 list I’m blogging through. I’ve now seen 453.