During his conversation with Bennett Miller last month at the Tribeca Film Festival, Christopher Nolan lavished praise on 2014’s taut and tense “Whiplash,” calling it “an incredible piece of work. That was the kind of film where when you see it, it’s very precisely put together and you’re very jealous.” A new video essay from Matt Marlin takes a look at the precision and craft of the film’s climactic scene, and breaks down the reasons why it is so effective.
Running nearly 10 minutes long, “Editing and Cinematography in Whiplash’s Ending (Framing the Picture)” focuses on — you guessed it — the final scene of the movie, the bravura musical set piece that is as nerve-wracking to watch as anything in any action thriller. Marlin focuses on everything from the eyelines of the actors to the placement of the camera and the editing rhythm, to explain both the individual and cumulative effect of each of Damien Chazelle’s directorial choices: the less confident Miles Teller’s Andrew is, the longer the take that’s used.
The video essay is a loving tribute to Chazelle’s film, which is available on VOD or Blu-ray and DVD. Watch the video essay below. [35MM]