Thursday, 15 January 2015

Whiplash - Dir. Damien Chazelle

Damien Chazelle’s exhilarating new film has been riding a critical wave after premiering at Sundance (scooping up the festival’s grand jury and audience prizes on its way) and may just make it all the way to Oscar night. On the surface Whiplash may look like a jazz musical but in reality, it’s the most adrenaline fuelled roller-coaster since Gravity.

Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious drummer at the prodigious Shaffer Conservatory music school who gets the opportunity to play in the lead jazz band, under the conductorship of Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Fletcher sees some talent in Andrew, but how far is Andrew willing to go to become the best.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) - Dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu

Creating and expressing ambiguity in film is a complicated trick to perfect: how much can be left unresolved before that original intention for ambiguity becomes lost in disorganised tangle of themes and narrative threads. It’s exciting to see films that can be interpreted in different ways, but each interpretation needs to be clear and defendable. Unfortunately Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) doesn’t know what it wants to say (or fails to clearly express what it wants to say), despite all of the irrefutably enjoyable things about it. It’s so confused that it can’t even decide if it wants to use its poncey subtitle or not.