21 Jul 2023

I think one of my favorite movies has to be Whiplash. (Warning, there will be spoilers)

It’s climactic ending where Andrew plays at the JVC is always gripping to watch. If you aren’t familiar and don’t mind spoilers, Andrew is initially fooled by Fletcher that he will play the standard charts he’s used to back at school. Instead, an unfamiliar chart is put in front of him, and he flounders when he doesn’t know the chart.

Andrew storms off of the stage to an embrace from his father, only to return to the stage moments after.

It’s this part that I love.

He comes back on stage and there’s a coolness about him - an air of “fuck you, I will do what I want.” And I just love it. He takes command of the one-way power dynamic that has been presented the whole movie and, instead of Fletcher determining the situation, Andrew is in charge.

The father, just on the side of the stage and after being doubtful of the path his son is on all movie, finally “gets it” how his son is great - how he is consumed by his passion, maybe obsessed.

There’s a single shot that I think about a lot. It’s where Andrew is playing his solo, and there is a shot of the bass drum rocking back and forth. It’s maybe a 1 second shot, if that. And with the sound of the drums, it feels like it’s a car pushing its absolute limits, with the motor whirring at peak RPM. It’s stable, but by just a hair. It’s physically showing just how at the limit he is.

I aspire to be at the limits of something, pushing the boundaries and bringing something into this world that did not exist before.

Sure, these are just words and the work is in the doing. But god dammit, I’m trying.