Shut Up and Play the Piano

a film by Philipp Jedicke

Shut Up and Play the Piano

France, Germany | 2018 | 82:00 min

Formal Categories

Biography / Portrait Music

Content Categories

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. Change seems to be the only constant in Gonzales‘ journey. The cinematic documentary Shut Up And 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. The playfulness of his character is mirrored in the look of the film. Reality and fiction blur together as we embark on a trip through Chilly Gonzales‘ world.
with: Peaches, Leslie Feist, Sibylle Berg, Jarvis Cocker, Joe Flory, Adam Traynor, Paul PM aka Mr. Maloke (Puppetmastaz), Raik Hölzel, Raz Ohara, Renaud Letang, Kleber Valim, Lena Buhl, Cornelius Meister

Berlinale catalogue:
'One of these days I will shut up and play the piano’ is how the chorus goes in the song which provides the title of this cinematic portrait of eclectic musician Chilly Gonzales. In fact, after making a name for himself as a brazen electro-rapper, this Canadian, whose real name is Jason Charles Beck, really did reinvent himself as a creator of quiet sounds on the piano. In 2003, this self-styled maverick loudly declared himself president of Berlin’s underground music scene, only to conquer bourgeois concert halls shortly afterwards with his tranquil album, ‘Solo Piano’. An extended conversation between him and writer Sibylle Berg is the thread that runs through the film. No holds are barred as they get down to the business of question and answer, and each of them gives as good as they get. In his directing debut, Philipp Jedicke displays a lightness of touch as he blends archive material with playfully dramatised scenes and interviews with the musician’s contemporaries such as Peaches, Leslie Feist and Jarvis Cocker. Rounded off by Gonzales’ energetic performances, the film allows us to discover a hard-working entertainer who never fails to surprise.
68th Berlinale PANORAMA
33rd DOK.fest Munich
SWR DOKU FESTIVAL 2018 – Supporting Award of HDF, Haus des Dokumentarfilms
35th Kassel DokFest
LOLA@Berlinale - shortlisted for German Film Award Documentary 2019
Cast and Crew
  • Director Philipp Jedicke
  • Director of Photography Marcus Winterbauer, Marcel Kolvenbach (publicnomad)
  • Protagonist Chilly Gonzales
  • Editor Carina Mergens, Henk Drees
  • Sound Ralf Weber (Groove McPearth)
  • Score Chilly Gonzales
Original Languages




Production Company
Mozartstr. 15, 50674 Köln
Links / Reference
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