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The Piano Tuner (1960)


In this unfinished amateur comedy, a man (Frank Straford) who has hired an incompetent piano tuner (John Straford) ends up doing all the work himself, with a few unintended consequences.

Curator’s notes

John and Frank Straford were enthusiastic amateur filmmakers who created short animations, science fiction dramas, travelogues and comedies under the name of SBF (Straford Brothers Films). They made The Piano Tuner to test their newly purchased 16mm Bolex camera. After having worked for many years with 9.5mm, the brothers moved to 16mm when Kodak’s takeover of French Pathé made 9.5mm film less accessible.

As well as experimenting with their new camera, the storyline in The Piano Tuner reveals the brothers’ taste for humour (also evident in their animations and travelogues) and their collaborative approach to filmmaking, often involving friends as cast members and sharing in the production process.