Animated Doc About Bossa Nova – ‘They Shot the Piano Player’ Trailer
by Alex Billington
November 8, 2023
“His musical touch hasn’t left my ear.” Sony Pictures Classics has unveiled a full US trailer for a fascinating, jazzy Spanish documentary called They Shot the Piano Player, which first premiered at the Annecy Film Festival in France this summer. It’s a doc made by filmmakers Fernando Trueba & Javier Mariscal (of Chico & Rita) telling the true story of a missing pianist. A New York music journalist goes on a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of the young Brazilian piano virtuoso Tenorio Jr. – in full Francisco Tenório Júnior. A celebratory origin story of the world-renowned Latino musical movement Bossa Nova, They Shot The Piano Player captures a fleeting time bursting with creative freedom at a turning point in Latin American history in the 60s and 70s, just before the continent was engulfed by totalitarian regimes. Starring Jeff Goldblum as the voice of Jeff Harris, with Caetano Veloso & Joao Gilberto. It has some stunning animation that may seem basic but is quite vivid and dynamic. This is all my jam – I’ll be watching.
Here’s the full trailer (+ poster) for Mariscal & Trueba’s doc The Shot the Piano Player, from YouTube:
And here’s another international festival trailer for The Shot the Piano Player, also found on YouTube:
A music journalist from New York sets out on a frantic investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Brazilian pianist Francisco Tenório Jr., regular accompanist of Vinicius de Moraes, among others. This animated thriller moving to the beat of jazz & bossa nova portrays the days immediately before the Latin American continent was enshrouded by totalitarian regimes. The film’s soundtrack includes music by João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Vinicius de Moraes and Paulo Moura, with some of the musicians also appearing in the voice cast as themselves testifying about Tenório’s importance and influence. The Shot the Piano Player, also known as Dispararon al Pianista in Spanish, is directed by filmmakers Javier Mariscal (of the doc Chico & Rita, & “The Cobi Troupe” series) and Fernando Trueba (of many films including Opera Prima, Belle Epoque, The Dancer & the Thief, Chico & Rita, The Queen of Spain, Memories of My Father). Produced by Cristina Huete. This initially premiered at the 2023 Annecy Film Festival this year, and played at TIFF and London. Sony Classics will debut The Shot the Piano Player in very limited US theaters on November 24th, 2023 for a limited awards qualifying run, with more theaters in early 2024.