BUFS preview: Whiplash

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This week, BUFS is pleased to present the Oscar-nominated film, Whiplash.

At an ultra-elite East Coast music conservatory (bearing a striking resemblance to the legendary Juilliard), the most gifted and promising musicians in the country vie for achievements and accolades to outdo one another and the generations of musicians who came before them. Young drummer, Andrew, is no different—having watched his father give up dreams of being a novelist for his family and a steady career as a high school teacher, Andrew determines to push his own limits as a drummer and become the next Buddy Rich.

When Fletcher, one of the school’s most notorious teachers, overhears Andrew practicing and interrupts him, Andrew faces a rare opportunity. Fletcher leads a competitive jazz band, and Andrew wants in, no matter what. But the price is high, and Andrew pays in blood, sweat and tears. Fletcher’s vicious and relentless demands for excellence qualify as criminal, and make you wonder how he hasn’t been prosecuted before now. Andrew definitely gets better at drumming. All the while, though, he’s getting worse at life—endangering his most important relationships with his arrogance and obsession.

It all has to wind up somewhere, and the movie’s final scene has been called one of the best things you’ll see at the movies this year, whether you’re a jazz fan or not. Oscar seems to agree—the film has five nominations, including best supporting actor for J. K. Simmons, best adapted screenplay, best editing, best sound mixing, and best picture.

Whiplash screens Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Landmark Cinemas, Pen Centre. Visit brocku.ca/bufs for details.

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