Shut Up and Play the Piano

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Germany | 2018 | 82 minutes | Philipp Jedicke

Canadian art-punk musician Chilly Gonzales, whose work runs the gamut from electro-rap to classical piano, gets the biography treatment in this documentary that combines energetic performances, playful dramatizations, and interviews with contemporaries such as Peaches, Leslie Feist, and Jarvis Cocker.

The musical style of Chilly Gonzales, the stage name of Grammy-winning musician Jason Charles Beck, has morphed from grungy rock to outrageous electro-rap to tranquil classical piano. But one thing that hasn't changed is his irresistible urge to simultaneously entertain and provoke. After a taste of major-label success with the Canadian alternative band Son in the 1990s, Beck followed his friend and fellow musical firebrand Peaches to the artist-embracing city of Berlin. There he created the Chilly Gonzales persona, a puckish, motor-mouthed showman who staged a messianic mock press conference where he declared himself "president" of the underground music scene. Then it was off to Paris, and further reinvention: crafting the delicate and complex 2004 opus "Solo Piano," followed by breaking the Guinness world record for continual piano performance, playing over 300 songs in 27 hours. Since then, Chilly Gonzales has collaborated with a wealth of iconic artists, including Feist, Jane Birkin, Charles Aznavour, Jarvis Cocker, Drake, and Daft Punk. Shut Up And Play The Piano blends material from the artists' extensive video archives with playfully dramatized recreations in a unique style that perfectly complements Chilly's own boundless creativity, creating a portrait of this charmingly self-aware performer who once said of himself, "I'm not an artist; I just work the hardest."

Clinton McClung

Director Biography
Working as a freelance journalist, online editor, researcher, and post-production manager, Philipp Jedicke's work has appeared in leading European media. As a German director, Jedicke makes his feature debut with Shut Up And Play The Piano (2018), which premiered internationally at the Berlinale and appeared at several major festivals. The main focus of Jedicke's work, whether as a director or freelancer, is music and culture.

Sponsored by Capitol Hill Block Party, KEXP 90.3 FM

  • Director: Philipp Jedicke
  • Principal Cast: Chilly Gonzales, Kaiser Quartett, Joe Flory, Sibylle Berg, Adam Traynor, Peaches
  • Country: Germany
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 82 minutes
  • Producer: Stephan Holl, Antoinette Koster
  • Screenplay: Philipp Jedicke
  • Cinematographers: Marcus Winterbauer, Marcel Kolvenbach
  • Editors: Henk Drees
  • Music: Chilly Gonzales
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English, German, French
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Charades