4 articles about Whiplash, the little film that could

9 Jan
Miles Teller and JK Simmons in Whiplash, described as "Full Metal Jacket set at Juilliard"

Miles Teller and JK Simmons in Whiplash, described as “Full Metal Jacket set at Juilliard”

A really terrific little movie opens next week: Whiplash, about a young drumming prodigy’s fractious relationship with his terrifyingly perfectionist mentor, which although made in 19 days on a budget of $3 million is attracting Oscar buzz. I was commissioned by the Guardian to write four different pieces on the film, which is especially close to my heart as my son is an ace drummer himself (check out his band Venus Envy on Soundcloud).

Whiplash’s young writer-director had lofty goals, setting out to do for drumming what Martin Scorsese once did for boxing. But in many ways it’s less like Raging Bull than like Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam masterpiece: producer Jason Reitman describes the film as “Full Metal Jacket set in Juilliard”.

Check out my Guardian pieces, which came out today:

— Why Whiplash is not just about drumming, but a psychological thriller, sports/war movie and mismatched buddy movie all in one. Discover the “Dead Poets Society from hell”.

— How do you make an Oscar-worthy feature in just 19 days? Despite cracked ribs and a car crash, this is how Damien Chazelle got it done.

— Both lead actors in Whiplash underwent an extraordinary transformation for their roles. From Lon Chaney Jr to Holly Hunter and Daniel Day-Lewis, discover the ten biggest transformations in film history.

— Einstein himself said that “genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work”. From Isambard Kingdom Brunel to Marie Curie, here are ten great men and women who owe as much to perspiration as inspiration.

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5 Responses to “4 articles about Whiplash, the little film that could”

  1. Tom Minney January 10, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Very enjoyable articles – 4 in a day, perhaps you are also working towards hardworking genius category too? Keep it up and thanks for sharing

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The 2015 Oscar nominations: Brit hits and Whiplash wit | London, Hollywood - January 16, 2015

    […] Congratulations to Whiplash, which I blogged about last Friday as “The little film that could”, for its four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. It opens today in the UK: read my articles about the making of it here. […]

  2. Foxcatcher: wrestling with doubts | London, Hollywood - January 20, 2015

    […] Oscar noms. But if you want to see an Oscar contender this week, I’d sooner recommend Birdman, Whiplash, The Theory Of Everything or (probably – I haven’t yet seen it) American […]

  3. BAFTA night: Boyhood and Theory of Everything triumph | London, Hollywood - February 8, 2015

    […] own predictions have come true, for once: JK Simmons is Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash, a film I have written about a lot in the past; and Jack O’Connell, about whom I wrote “a star is born” when Starred Up was […]

  4. Oscars 2015: Birdman soars, but Imitation Game moves | London, Hollywood - February 23, 2015

    […] of craft awards: production design, make-up, costume and score; and the little-indie-that-could, Whiplash, which took best editing, sound mixing and of course supporting actor for JK Simmons. The other big […]

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