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Teacher yelling at muscian
Whiplash

Film

Whiplash

M

Jazz on Film 2015

Seasons & Screenings

29 May + 30 May

The art of jazz and the price of artistic excellence lie at the heart of this Oscar®-nominated drama about a promising jazz drummer under the tutelage of a sadistic teacher. It features  two outstanding performances from Miles Teller as the young prodigy and J.K. Simmons as his military-style mentor. Locked in a virtuosic battle of wills, they leave behind them a trail of broken hearts and bones. Never before has a musical been so visceral.

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  • Bloodied hands crashing away at drum kits isn’t an image normally associated with musical dramas, but it proves an apt metaphor for the true cost of artistic excellence in this emotional rollercoaster of a film.

    Writer and director Damien Chazelle partly took as his inspiration for the film an oft-repeated anecdote about late jazz legend Charlie Parker and his run-in with Count Basie Orchestra drummer Jo Jones, who threw a cymbal at Parker’s head during a jam session.

    Chazelle also drew from his own experience as a young student learning jazz drumming and the ‘boot camp’-style approach of his teacher. The result is a brutal and exhilarating take on a musical genre that prides itself on laid-back improvisation, asking pertinent questions about the cost of achieving greatness.

    Grand Jury Prize Winner 2014 Sundance Film Festival

    Best Supporting Actor Winner (J.K. Simmons) 2015 Academy Awards

    Best Supporting Actor Winner (J.K. Simmons) 2015 Golden Globe Awards