On the Rue Pascal in the 13th arrondissement of Paris there works a repairman. Not just any kind of repairman; he sells spare parts for pianos in the oldest piano shop in the city.
Directed by Tom Wrigglesworth and Mathieu Cuvelier, the short film La Mer de Pianos (The Sea of Pianos) is a beautiful vignette of the life and work of Marc Manceaux, the owner of Fournitures Generales Por Le Piano. Manceaux is compassionate towards the pianos he has to dissemble for parts (he calls it “the kill”) and dreams of creating the perfect instrument, which will have a single string and sound like “a lute, a harp and a piano all at once.”
The film is full of stunning visuals, from close ups of scratched wooden piano legs, to tracking shots of boxes of piano parts which look like cheese rounds. There are many peek-a-boo shots through the stacks of wooden crates of Manceaux and the banks of piano keyboards that look like steampunk skyscrapers. This video paints a picture of unusual lives that are hidden in the ebb and flow of urban life.
Although the clip is only five minutes long, the directors have managed to present a profound depth to the character of Manceaux. It is such a gem of a film, and it is so nice to think that we live in a world with people like this.