Posts From Author: miles teller

Some Men Achieve Greatness

Whiplash directed by Damien Chazelle Sony Classics, 2014; 107 minutes A violent game of fuck-you one-upmanship, Whiplash is one of the best American movies of the year. In the red corner is Miles Teller’s Andrew Neiman, a nineteen-year-old jazz drummer with ambitions of greatness. In the blue is Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), a teacher in the R. Lee Ermey mold. Their antagonism plays out in the practice rooms at Shaffer Conservatory, where Fletcher teaches and Andrew is in his first year. Simmons, dressed all in black (the uniform of the jazz savant), is a true teacher-terrorist. He spits racial and homophobic slurs, takes his musicians apart over undetectable shifts in rhythm or speed. He dismisses one trombonist simply because the boy does not know — or is too frightened to say — if he’s slightly out of tune. (He isn’t, but the crime of ignorance is sufficient for Fletcher to cast him out.) He’s exacting but impossible to please because he seems to believe that only a moving target can draw greatness from his players. From their first meeting on, Andrew wants nothing more than to impress him. Andrew’s approach to musical improvement seems to be based on the so-called […]
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