Thrashing jazz drums accompany two of the best films released this year. Both efforts are about artists who are more than willing to torment themselves in order to prove worthy of their demanding crafts. In Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, young Andrew Neyman, played by Miles Teller, goes to extremes to realize his dream of becoming one of the world’s great drummers.
(In Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, Michael Keaton’s aging movie star Riggan Thomson, already rich and world famous, drives himself mad to prove his stature as an artist. - reviewed separately)
Whiplash, directed by Harvard graduate Damien Chazelle, is based on an 18-minute version of an earlier film with the same title. His charming first feature, Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench, was shot in black & white entirely around Boston, and is filled with as much tap dancing and singing as you would find in a low budget 1930′s musical. It is a delightful short film about music and the travails of young love. Justin Hurwitz, who wrote the music for Guy And Madeline … also wrote much of the score for Whiplash, in which the earlier charm and hoofing gives way to blood, sweat, and tears Read more . . .