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First Clip From Sundance Breakout Whiplash
JK Simmons is the music teacher from hell...

21 May 2014  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Sony Pictures Classics

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Damien Chazelle’s coming-of-age – or perhaps, given the subject matter, it should be drumming-of-age – music film Whiplash already has plenty of positive buzz about it thanks to a multiple award-winning appearance at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Now, to help spread the word further, Sony has put a clip online. 

Whiplash features Miles Teller as Andrew Neyman, an ambitious 19-year-old jazz drummer who attends a high-profile music conservatory, where legendary teacher Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons) rules the roost. But Andrew discovers that reaching for perfection comes with a price, as Fletcher is a hot-tempered, oft-maniacal bully. In this clip, Fletcher demonstrates the difference between rushing your tempo and dragging, a point he gets across by throwing a chair at the young man and slapping him. It’s the sort of teaching method R. Lee Ermey’s Sergeant Hartman would probably appreciate.

Simmons, while he’s played softer characters in some of Jason Reitman’s films and TV work, is spectacular as this sort of unpredictable psycho, and our Damon Wise noted that his role isn’t softened in the film’s sports-movie-style story.

Whiplash should be out later this year, though doesn’t appear to have a confirmed UK date yet. American audiences can see it from October 10.


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