Whiplash (2014)

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Whiplash (2014)

Post by Professional Tourist »

I had read about the recent film Whiplash here and there, but didn't seek it out because the premise sounded a bit 'rough' for my taste. But when J.K. Simmons won the Oscar for portraying the obsessive, fanatical jazz music professor I decided to track down a copy. I've watched it twice, so far, and just as much as J.K. Simmons I like Miles Teller as the young musician. The story itself is fairly short and simple, but is fleshed out by those two characters and performances.

I must admit I learned something about jazz, which had never interested me, and of the central importance of the drummer in a jazz ensemble, in setting the tempo for the whole group. Also learned something of the way jazz drumming differs from rock and classical, how much more difficult it is.

One of the favorite topics for debate on this film seems to be whether Miles Teller did his own drumming, or if he gave the effect while a pre-recording of an expert jazz drummer played back. People don't seem to know for sure, but one thing that is certain is that Teller is an experienced rock drummer, and as such is well cast for this role. One article claimed that he did the drumming himself, but in short takes that were edited together -- the final sequence having been shot over two days.

Well, whether it was the real thing or an effect, in my opinion Teller is outstanding. This performance made me want to look up his earlier work. What I found was a number of good performances nestled within pictures that were mostly too youthful for my taste. I could recommend a couple of them, including Rabbit Hole and The Spectacular Now. And Divergent, but that one, I think, is a topic unto itself.

The only thing I truly dislike about this picture is the profanity. There is a great deal of very foul language employed by the professor, and by the students following his bad example.

"Whiplash," by the way, is the name of one of the jazz pieces studied at the conservatory.

Has anyone else here seen this picture?
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Re: Whiplash (2014)

Post by Lomm »

It's on my list of movies to get to. I will probably watch with my 16 year old son, who plays in a jazz ensemble.
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