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Feb 8, 2022Liked by moviewise 🎟

"Whiplash" and "La La Land" are both favorites of mine, not so much for what they say about music, but what they say about the mentalities of performers and artists. I'm fascinated by how artists think, and how they spur themselves to new creative enterprises, even when confronted with severe opposition. Chazelle's movies really dig into those themes. Would he have been able to address those topics if he were making movies about classical music or rock music?

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A great movie about an artist's struggle composing classical music is "Amadeus" 1984. "Antonio Salieri: All I wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing... and then made me mute. Why? Tell me that. If He didn't want me to praise him with music, why implant the desire? Like a lust in my body! And then deny me the talent?"

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Feb 8, 2022Liked by moviewise 🎟

Ah yes, another favorite! Forman's Salieri is one of the most fascinating artists in any movie.

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Feb 8, 2022Liked by moviewise 🎟

Great issue! I love jazz in almost every form. You've made me wanna rewatch "Whiplash" ✨

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Music is so powerful, and when it's combined with the cinematography and story in a movie it really lets you reach another level of music appreciation, particularly if the movie is about music or musicians. It's a great combination!

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It's a splendid film, indeed.

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There is a great cover of I Wanna Be Like You by Paolo Nutini that keeps me falling back in love with The Jungle Book. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=toviyEGt96w

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Wow! Paolo Nutini's version is even faster and it has the rock beat. I love seeing how happy and child-like it makes the audience feel. Thank you for including the link!

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Thank you for this. I am not a musician but I am a music listener, and in my younger days I loved to dance. I appreciate this overview and the clips that made me dance in my chair.

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How wonderful! Thank you for your comment. This music is a treasure. It's so incredible, so so beautiful. How lucky we are to get the chance to hear it!

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Feb 8, 2022Liked by moviewise 🎟

Whiplash is a sports movie in disguise. I've been a jazz drummer for thirty years and have many friends who have been part of the New York jazz scene for a long time. We all agree that almost everything in this movie is bullshit, from the tyrannical band director who somehow has a gig playing the whitest lounge music ever to the kid being in love with Buddy Rich instead of, say, Nate Smith or Eric Harland. Buddy was a big band drummer and a showman, tremendously influential to a specific set of technique-centered drummers back in the 1970s. But now? Nobody would be caught dead playing that corny shit. I could maybe get behind Mel Lewis or Shelley Manne, or even Peter Erskine or Jeff Hamilton. But Buddy Rich? That would be like a ball player idolizing Babe Ruth instead of somebody who's played the modern game.

So I hate that movie, as does almost everyone who knows about the subject.

What do I like? The best jazz movie ever made, Bertrand Tavernier's opus to Lester Young, Round Midnight. Not only does it star a very-much-at-death's-door Dexter Gordon, it features live performances by the greatest jazz musicians of the era. Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Tony Williams, Billy Higgins, all playing on various stages. It also explores the life of a jazz musician, about what music means and what it costs.

It is to Whiplash what Singing in the Rain is to La La Land.

One is authentic, and the other is knock-off nonsense.

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Yes! Part of Damien Chazelle's directing includes some heavy handed exaggeration that can take you out of the movie. But I think where he was coming from in "Whiplash" is his experience with very demanding, and abusive, music directors. As a ballet dancer for many years, I can relate to the kind of mental and sometimes physical torture that these all-powerful figures can have on young people. You can see some of this in how the dancers are treated in the movie "All That Jazz." People do come to accept being screamed at, being punished, humiliated, while trying to please a very exacting director who can give out a part that will let you shine or literally put you in the background to stand. I think Chazelle set out to explore this psychology and make what is almost a horror movie about how abuse can actually be motivating and produce amazing art as a result.

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I think it works if you think of it as a sports movie. All That Jazz was definitely a fantasy about a Bob Fosse type, and was itself a decent musical. My brother was a professional ballet dancer for three decades with Ballet West and the Oregon Ballet Theater, so whenever we watch anything dance-related he's like I am with music or war movies. Few people know or care about the factual details which is why movies like Whiplash, Black Swan, and The Hurt Locker are so popular with the public yet derided by the professions they supposedly represent. Think of True Detective versus The Wire. It's entirely possible to create a realistic story with logic, plausibility, and historical accuracy while still delivering the narrative and dramatic goods, but usually such things aren't popular. People would rather watch Baby Driver than The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

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What I've come to realize is that of all the musicians, the happiestβ€”seem to be the drummers. From Ringo Starr being the most approachable and friendliest Beatle, to Neil Peart from Rush being so humble and likable, as is David Grohl from Nirvana. These are happy people, especially compared to other musicians who perhaps take themselves way too seriously, or just feel too much. And then there's Jimmy Vincent, the drummer for Louis Prima, who is a showman himself as seen in this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i81VoZhH4KM

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deletedFeb 8, 2022Liked by moviewise 🎟
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You inspired me!

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