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Tag: Damien Chazelle (1-9 of 9)

Miles Teller can't find the right beat in 'Whiplash' trailer

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘Good job.'”

That’s the fault line on which writer/director Damien Chazelle has built Whiplash. His Sundance sensation stars Miles Teller as a jazz-drum prodigy who earns the attention of his prestigious school’s notorious music maestro (J.K. Simmons). Is genius simply born, or does it need to be forged? How far is a teacher supposed—or allowed—to go to bring out the best in a student, and what are the risks and consequences for such methods?

In the new trailer for the film, Teller’s Andrew Neyman endures physical and psychological punishment as he fumbles to find the right beat and the right answers. READ FULL STORY

Sundance hit 'Whiplash' snares fall release date

Whiplash, the award-winning Sundance film that stars Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer at the mercy of J.K. Simmons’ tyrannical music teacher, will open in theaters Oct. 10. The film, written and directed by Damien Chazelle and championed by producers Jason Blum and Jason Reitman, was based on Chazelle’s short of the same name and went on to win two top prizes at Sundance. Reitman described the movie as “Shine meets Full Metal Jacket,” and Simmons’ performance as a terrifying bully of a mentor is one that could garner award consideration. Sony Pictures Classics’ decision to release the film in October, as opposed to the summer, certainly helps his candidacy.

Click below to see a clip of Simmons in action: READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: 'Whiplash' takes home Grand Jury and Audience Awards

Whiplash, director Damien Chazelle’s story of a young jazz drummer, took home both the U.S. Grand Jury and Audience Dramatic awards at the Sundance Film Festival awards Saturday night. The film grew out of a short from Chazelle that won the Short Film Jury Award at Sundance in 2013.

Rich Hill, a story about a community in rural Missouri, won the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury award and Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory, about how music can help dementia patients, won the U.S. Audience Documentary award. Co-screenwriters Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman were honored with the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for The Skeleton Twins, starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. Cutter Hodierne won the U.S. Dramatic Award for Direction for Fishing Without Nets, his first feature film. The Prop 8 documentary The Case Against 8 brought home the U.S. Documentary Award for Direction for directors Ryan White and Ben Cotner. The Angelina Jolie-produced film about Ethiopia, Difret, won the Audience Award in the World Dramatic Competition.

Husband and wife hosts Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally brought the sexual innuendo and a ukulele to the ceremony in Park City, Utah, where this year’s crop of 186 independent films were celebrated. Presenters included Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Tracy Chapman, and film critic Leonard Maltin.

Check out the full list of winner’s below. You can also watch the replay of the awards ceremony, which streamed live on YouTube.
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'Whiplash' stars Miles Teller and Paul Reiser talk about their buzzy Sundance movie

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Fresh off their festival-opening premiere, 28-year-old director Damien Chazelle, and actors Miles Teller, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, and Auston Stowell dropped by EW’s Sundance Lounge to chat about their buzzy new film Whiplash.

Teller and Chazelle described the prep work the 26-year-old actor (who also has a role in the upcoming Divergent movie) had to put in on the drums to play his character Andrew Neiman, a brilliant, driven young jazz drummer under the tutelage of an abusive maestro played by J.K. Simmons. (EW’s Owen Gleiberman describes the film as “a jazz version of the very good inside-classical-music drama Mr. Holland’s Opus crossed with a drill-sergeant-from-hell classic like An Officer and a Gentleman, with Simmons in the Lou Gossett Jr. role.”) READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: 'Whiplash' director on the price of greatness and the intensity of J.K. Simmons

It’s going to be a memorable Sundance Film Festival if the rest of the movies can keep up with the beat that Whiplash laid down last night. The opening-night premiere from 28-year-old director Damien Chazelle tells the story of an ambitious jazz-drummer prodigy (Miles Teller) who bumps up against an intimidating tyrant of a music teacher played by J.K. Simmons. Bad-ass bald, with bulging biceps that fill his fashionable black t-shirts, Simmons’ Terrence Fletcher is a cruel taskmaster who bludgeons his students with torrents of mocking, often homophobic, invective in his mission to create true genius. Fletcher toys with them psychologically and bullies them physically, like some musical Bobby Knight. “I remember when I first met [J.K.], I just sort of told him, “Remember how you were in Oz? I want to make that guy look like the teacher in Mr. Holland’s Opus,” Chazelle said to the audience after last night’s premiere.

Chazelle himself was a serious jazz drummer in high school, and he based the poisenous relationship on one he had with one of his own mentors. “Drums had always been like a fun hobby for me, and for four years, when I was in that ensemble, it became just a source of constant dread,” he said last night. “Just looking back, it was an interesting experience because I became a much better drummer than I know I ever would’ve, but I also didn’t enjoy it at all. And maybe for people who feel that music should be about joy and fun, it was missing the point. So those were certain questions that I was grasping with and I just wanted to write about it.”

That Whiplash — which refers to a jazz composition composed by Hank Levy — got a prime Sundance showcase is a great tribute to Chazelle’s crew, and an honor to the festival’s spirit. Last year, Whiplash won the Sundance price for Best Short film, and Chazelle spent the last 12 months turning an 18 minute short, that was specially created as a sample to show potential investors, into a deeper, richer two-hander that questions all the blood, sweat, and tears that seem to be the price of greatness. Sony Pictures quickly picked up the distribution rights to some international markets. A big number for the price of the domestic rights would not surprise anyone who witnessed last night’s premiere. (Though if the film becomes a hit, Simmons’ future as a comforting, vest-wearing pitch-man for Farmers Insurance might soon need to be rethought.)

Chazelle, who also wrote the screenplay for Grand Piano, spoke to EW before the premiere about his movie. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: 'Ong-bak' star Tony Jaa added to 'Fast and Furious 7', more

Ong-bak star and martial arts expert Tony Jaa is in talks to make his English-language and studio film debut in James Wan’s Fast and Furious 7.  He’ll be joining the large returning ensemble that includes Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Tyrese, and Paul Walker. Chris Morgan, who penned the first, fifth, and sixth movies, is currently working on the script, but there’s no word on the character Jaa will be portraying. This seventh installment of the franchise is being fast-tracked for a July 11, 2014 release. [THR]

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Casting Net: Miles Teller destined for 'Whiplash'; Plus, Sam Rockwell, Mireille Enos, more

• Miles Teller is making waves. The soulful Spectacular Now star can add another notch to his indie belt. Teller will play the lead role in Whiplash — the Sundance-winning short from writer-director Damien Chazelle (Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench) that’s getting the feature treatment. Teller will play a novice drummer in an elite jazz conservatory who is subjected to the wrath of his merciless instructor, played by J.K. Simmons (who will reprise the role that he originated in Chazelle’s short). [Deadline]
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'Whiplash': Sundance-winning short to become full-length feature -- BREAKING

The savage Sundance-winning short Whiplash, about a young drummer facing down a brutally antagonizing music instructor, is about to become a feature film.

Writer and director Damien Chazelle adapted the 18-minute short from several scenes in the full-length script with the hope that it would attract investors for the complete version.

Now Bold Films, the production company behind Drive and the upcoming Only God Forgives, has stepped forward to fill out the undisclosed budget. The company will make Whiplash as a joint production with Right of Way Films and Blumhouse Productions, who teamed up to create the short.

In the video above, EW debuted the first clip from Whiplash, which went on to win Sundance’s short film jury award for fiction.

The movie focuses on a drummer (Johnny Simmons) in an elite jazz orchestra conservatory as he struggles to impress a merciless teacher, played by J.K. Simmons (Juno and Spider-Man.)

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Sundance 2013: Prize-winning 'Whiplash' short aims to go long -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, sometimes the best thing you can do is sell yourself short.

Most of the talk at the Sundance Film Festival is about feature-length movies, but the shorts program is actually where many aspiring directors take their first steps into the storytelling business.

EW spoke with two such filmmakers — one a veteran, one a newcomer — about starting out this way at Sundance. READ FULL STORY

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