Whiplash UK premiere: A quick chat with cast and crew
If the reception from critics is anything to go by, Whiplash, the semi-autobiographical feature from fledgling director Damien Chazelle (Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench) could well be the film of the 2014 London Film Festival. Starring Miles Teller as jazz drumming protégé Andrew, and J.K. Simmons as the teacher who moulds him in unorthodox and ruthless fashion, Whiplash provides a compelling study of the dark side so often at play behind the drive for artistic perfection.
The achingly cool jazz soundtrack pumped onto the red carpet at Leicester Square’s Odeon Cinema for the premiere was accompanied, appropriately enough, by the incessant drumming of heavy rain. The Upcoming braved the deluge to chat with Chazelle, Simmons, and producer Helen Estabrook.
Damien, what was it like expanding the short film to feature-length?
Damien Chazelle: It definitely made it easier in the sense that it was kind of like the rehearsal that we didn’t otherwise have, but it’s tough, because you’re trying to get into the tempo of, and redo, something that you’ve already done – so it had its own challenges, but it helped in the end.
Helen, what was the response like at Sundance?
Helen Estabrook: Yeah, it was really wonderful. I think we were all quite nervous going into that screening, because we weren’t sure quite what that screening was going to be like, and we were the opening night film, so nothing had been seen or talked about yet. We were all quite nervous, but the response was everything we could have hoped for it was a true joy.
J.K. would you agree that agree that the final scene represents a portrayal of the extremes of pure art?
J.K. Simmons: Absolutely, I think that at that high end of performance in the arts, people are capable of pushing themselves and others to the very edge.
Whiplash is released nationwide on 16th January 2014.
For further information about the BFI London Film Festival visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for Whiplash here: