Author Topic: Whiplash  (Read 4294 times)

smirnoff

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2015, 05:26:37 PM »
Nicely said jmbossy, and a great primer for me to watch Nightcrawler!

verbALs

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2015, 05:44:13 PM »
Yes, well said. I'd add A Most Violent Year to that 'American Dream' mix. As in what does it take to succeed & how does that reflect on society.
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jmbossy

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2015, 07:24:51 PM »
a great primer for me to watch Nightcrawler!

I think the two would make an interesting double feature. I figured you had already seen it :p

I'd add A Most Violent Year to that 'American Dream' mix. As in what does it take to succeed & how does that reflect on society.

I finally get to see this one on Tuesday! I'm a sociology student, and love to see when movies attempt to comment on their particular place and time; Margin Call was pretty fascinating in that respect, so I've been looking forward to A Most Violent Year for some time now.

Osprey

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2015, 01:59:34 PM »
I have no idea about how many jazz musicians are competing in conservatory for the few jazz spots in NYC, but I don't buy for a second a guy with the drive of Andrew would sit on his duff after getting drummed out of school.  There's probably more jazz spots every night in New Orleans then there are every month in New York City and musicians from all over the world move to New Orleans to play jazz.  Just saying.   

mañana

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2015, 03:35:43 PM »
I have no idea about how many jazz musicians are competing in conservatory for the few jazz spots in NYC, but I don't buy for a second a guy with the drive of Andrew would sit on his duff after getting drummed out of school. 
I see what you're saying, but I think the film does establish that winning the approval of the Simmons character is a major driving force for the Teller character. When that path is ruined, I think it makes sense that, for a time at least, he would be too traumatized and aimless to play music.

What I thought was more unrealistic was that the Teller character is never seen playing music with others outside of a school setting. I don’t know how he expects to become a great jazz musician doing so much drumming in isolation. This focus serves the battle of wills between two lunatics that is central to the film, but I don’t think it does much for exhibiting how greatness is achieved, and I expect the film is attempting to do both.
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smirnoff

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2015, 04:10:51 PM »
One thing I couldn't tell while watching the movie is whether any of Fletcher's students actually made mistakes, or if he was simply being a dick the entire time. I don't actually know if it's accurate to call the character a perfectionist, because without a trained ear, it's impossible to distinguish between the times there was supposedly an error and the times Fletcher just wanted to ride someone. For all I could tell his students played flawlessly the entire movie and he was making something out of nothing the entire movie.


verbALs

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2015, 04:33:16 PM »
And pointedly, you are denied any reaction to their playing from an audience. Any feedback on how good the music was. I couldn't think of a moment when the music isn't cut across and denied any flow. Now that may go some way to explaining that interesting point about Teller never playing outside of the academic environment until the end....when the movie ends before the audience can...applaud? Perhaps giving the director credit for these hermetically sealed decisions is taking it too far, but it robs a level of stimuli from the viewer. It may sterilise the entire process intentionally. Very good point.

The nagging question for me was, does the director even like jazz? The "choices" only served to enhance that feeling.
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smirnoff

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2015, 05:06:32 PM »
He may even hate it. As much as the movie may do to enlighten a person to how technical jazz can actually be it, it goes equally far in showing how mind-numbingly tedious it can be as well. If a person were already inclined to dislike jazz I feel like this film would reinforce that. And the opposite could be true for a person who leans towards liking it.

Just as Teller never gets his applause, Fletcher's methods are never vindicated by the film. We can't really say "he was tough but he knew what he was about". We can only really say "he was tough". I wasn't sure how I was supposed to take his playing in that club Teller stumbles across. Is that a gig befitting a prestigious player or something much more humbling? He is a teacher at a top-tier school, but even that did not necessarily indicate to me a position based on merit, because his personality may have had a lot to do with him getting that job. We don't get to know.

Alan Smithee

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2015, 06:25:16 PM »
If you've seen his first film he definitely likes jazz.

jdc

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Re: Whiplash
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2015, 03:25:19 AM »
One thing I couldn't tell while watching the movie is whether any of Fletcher's students actually made mistakes, or if he was simply being a dick the entire time. I don't actually know if it's accurate to call the character a perfectionist, because without a trained ear, it's impossible to distinguish between the times there was supposedly an error and the times Fletcher just wanted to ride someone. For all I could tell his students played flawlessly the entire movie and he was making something out of nothing the entire movie.

I just assumed that his ear and understanding of music was such that he could catch the tiny imperfections even if the audience couldn't.  He was being a dick, not not simply just being a dick.. at least what I thought.

I read a series of posts by probably one of our local most successful musicians and he happens to be a jazz piano player.  He detested the movie but seemed way to caught up in how it mis-represented jazz without considering it really could have been about anything.
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