Short Note on Screen Composition in Shoot The Pianist

 

Shoot The Pianist (1960)

In the early scenes of Shoot The Pianist we see Charlie in his dressing room getting ready before his performance. The mise-en-scene or screen composition reflects his character. The barriers of the wall and the window represent Charlies actions that ensure barriers to communication and emotional connection are blocked. His timid actions in the film indicates this point. The broken glass however is an interesting addition as typically a broken glass indicates a rupture or forced entry into personal space. We can infer that the broken glass is used because his ‘brother’ enters his life and the two men that followed him are soon to follow Charlie. The disturbed and disarrayed furniture also link to the sense of rupture as if Charlie is caught unawares at being seen without the barrier of the glass. The screen is composed so as to foreground the character of Charlie instantly and Francois Truffaut brilliantly uses compartmentalised setting and a disarray of objects to communicate this in Shoot The Pianist.

Published by

A.R. Duckworth

South Yorkshire England

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