“All the same, Shut Up and Play the Piano is never boring, drawing its energy from Beck’s knowing blend of motormouth bombast and flamboyant showmanship. It climaxes with live concert footage of the sweat-drenched star rapping and crowd-surfing to the accompaniment of a full symphony orchestra. A preposterous spectacle, but admirably ambitious and highly entertaining. Life is a comedy-punk cabaret, old chum.” -The Hollywood Reporter
A film by Philipp Jedicke
Cast: Chilly Gonzales, Kaiser Quartett, Joe Flory, Sibylle Berg, Adam Traynor, Peaches, Feist, Paul PM aka Mr. Maloke, Raz Ohara, Raik Hölzel, Renaud Letang, Lena Buhl, Cornelius Meister, Jarvis Cocker
2018 – Germany – 105 min – English, German, French with English subtitles
Chilly Gonzales is a Grammy-winning composer, virtuoso pianist and entertainer. Criss-crossing between rap, electro and solo piano music, he became the outrageous pop performer who invited himself to the ivory tower of classical music. The eccentric artist inspires and collaborates with the likes of Feist, Jarvis Cocker, Peaches, Daft Punk and Drake.
The cinematic documentary Shut Up & Play The Piano follows Gonzales from his native Canada to late 90’s underground Berlin, and via Paris to the world’s great philharmonic halls. Change seems to be the only constant in Gonzales’ journey. Every time his audience thinks it has finally figured him out, he makes a radical move and breaks with its expectations. A man wearing a bathrobe and slippers in a philharmonic hall is a walking contradiction. Shut Up & Play The Piano dives deep into the dichotomy of Gonzales’ stage persona, where self-doubt and megalomania are just two sides of the same coin. The playfulness of his character is mirrored in the look of the film. Using Gonzales’ huge video archive in a rather unorthodox manner, Shut Up & Play The Piano explores his persona by interweaving newly shot interviews and concert scenes with fictional materials of totally different time periods. Reality and fiction blur together as we embark on a trip through Chilly Gonzales’ world.