Magazine article Screen International

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Magazine article Screen International

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Article excerpt

Jeremy Kay speaks to the Harvard graduate about the feature version of his prize-winning 2013 short.

Genre storytelling, Sundance Film Festival head honcho John Cooper has noted, has emerged as a device by which this year's film-makers suck us into otherwise non-genre stories.

Damien Chazelle's US Dramatic entry Whiplash should fit in nicely. The feature version of the Harvard graduate's Sundance 2013 jury prize-winning short of the same name is the tale of a ruthless music conservatory dressed up as a thriller.

"I was trying to recapture a feeling I had when I was in [a high school jazz] ensemble," says the 28-year-old Rhode Island native, who moved to Los Angeles in 2007 to work as a jobbing screenwriter.

"The movie goes a lot further then anything I went through. I set it in the world of a cut-throat musical conservatory a la Juilliard but we captured the feeling I was after - the sheer terror of performing and the competitiveness of that world. …

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