Film Notes: Whiplash (2014) directed by Damien Chazelle


USA /106 minutes / color / Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions and Right of Way Films  Dir: Damien Chazelle Pro:Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, Michel Litvak, David Lancaster Scr: written by Damien Chazelle Cine: Sharone Meir Film Editor: Tom Cross Mus: Justin Hurwitz Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Damon Gupton Release Date (Spain) 16 January 2015. Spanish title: Whiplash

MV5BMTU4OTQ3MDUyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTA2MjU0MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_ Synopsis: Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory where he receives his training. Marked by the failure of his father literary career, driven by delusions of grandeur, Andrew has ambitions to become one of the greats.Terence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons), an instructor well known equally for his teaching talents and his terrifying methods, leads the best jazz ensemble of the Conservatory. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers him into his band. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection soon spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability and his sanity.

Damien Chazelle on what is and isn’t ambiguous about Whiplash by Tasha Robinson

Begoña and I had the opportunity to see Whiplash last night. The film is based on  Damien Chazelle owns experiences in the Princeton High School Studio Band and centres in the relationship between an obsessive jazz student and his abusive instructor. The film lived up to my expectations. Although I fully agree with Richard Brody when he writes that ‘certainly, the movie isn’t “about” jazz; it’s “about” abuse of power’.

Whiplash premiered in competition in the US Dramatic Category at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 16, 2014, as the festival’s opening film. Sony Pictures Worldwide acquired the international distribution rights. At the 87th Academy Awards, Whiplash won Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Supporting Actor for Simmons, and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. (Source: Wikipedia)

You can find below two completely different reviews:

Getting Jazz Right in the Movies by Richard Brody (The New Yorker)

The Hollywood Reporter review by Todd McCarthy

2 thoughts on “Film Notes: Whiplash (2014) directed by Damien Chazelle

  1. Pingback: Film Notes: 2015 Year in Review | A Crime is Afoot

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