Whiplash short film

In a surprise run that doesn’t normally happen, Damien Chazelle‘s stupendous film Whiplash went all the way from a premiere at Sundance to a Best Picture nomination the following year. It didn’t take home the big prize, but J.K. Simmons ended up pulling off a deserved win for Best Supporting Actor, and the film also got the Film Editing and Sound Mixing awards.

In case you didn’t know, Whiplash was based on a short film of the same name that Chazelle directed in 2013. The film featured Simmons as the jazz band conductor still, but it had Johnny Simmons (co-star of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, no relation to J.K. Simmons) in the lead role instead.

And if you’ve ever wondered how the two compare, a YouTube video has a fantastic side-by-side comparison showing how the short and the feature length film are very similar, and nearly identical, in many key sequences. Watch the Whiplash short film comparison after the jump! Read More »

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Whiplash short film

When Whiplash exploded at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on the way to this 2015 Academy Awards, it wasn’t a huge surprise to some. The year prior, director Damien Chazelle had presented a short version of the film. It won the Short Film Jury Prize at the festival for “its wicked sense of humor, fantastic ensemble acting and razor sharp directing.”

Based on the strength of that short, Chazelle funded the feature length version and got into Sundance the next year. The rest is history. The feature, which stars Miles Teller and Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance then rode that success to multiple awards all the way to multiple Oscars.

Until now, the short that started this all has not been online. But with the Blu-ray of Whiplash being released last week, the short is now available for everyone to see. Watch the Whiplash short film below. Read More »

Independent Spirit Awards 2015

The Independent Spirit Awards were handed out in Santa Monica this afternoon, and the crop of winners includes two accolades for Nightcrawler, two for Boyhood, and three for Birdman, including Best Feature. Whiplash also did well, and in general the Indie Spirit awards this year lined up very strongly with the Oscar predictions we and many other people have made. Check out all the winners for the Independent Spirit Awards 2015 below. Read More »

Guardians of the Galaxy headphone alien

The producers, the actors, the editors, and the costume designers have already weighed in on their favorites of 2014, and today it is the writers’ turn to nominate their fellows for achievements in 2014. The Writers Guild of America has announced its nominees for the 2015 awards, and they run the gamut from Boyhood to Guardians of the Galaxy. Get the full 2015 WGA nominations list after the jump.  Read More »

birdman

At this point in the awards race each year, support has already crystallized around some of the frontrunners. This year, that group includes Boyhood, Birdman, The Theory of Everything, and The Imitation Game, and the Producers Guild followed the rest of their industry in nominating those titles for this year’s PGA Awards.

It’s more interesting, however, to see which dark horses did and didn’t make the cut. American Sniper and Nightcrawler emerged as two of the more surprising inclusions, while Unbroken and Selma got left out in the cold.

Meanwhile on the TV side, the PGA is all about Fargo, True Detective, and Orange Is the New Black, while shows like Parks & Recreation and Homeland went overlooked. Hit the jump for the full list of the 2015 Producers Guild nominations.  Read More »

Jake Gyllenhaal plays an unscrupulous news cameraman in the thriller Nightcrawler

The Oscar nominations aren’t out yet, but we’re getting to the point where technical guilds will be announcing their nominations for the best achievements of 2014. The latest set to be released comes from the American Cinema Editors, which this morning revealed nominations for their 65th annual ACE Eddie Awards. The ACE Awards recognize achievements in editing in a variety of film (narrative, comedy/musical, and documentary) and TV categories. On the feature side, the big nominations went to American Sniper, Boyhood, Gone Girl, The Imitation Game, Nightcrawler and Whiplash. Get the full editing awards nominations for 2015 below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Germain’s Top Ten Films of 2014

Snowpiercer

Time and time again, you’ve heard that 2014 was a great year for movies. And it was. But as I looked back at the about 150 films I saw released in 2014, I saw a pattern. There were, in fact, lots of great movies in 2014, and in the next few pages you’ll read about a bunch of them. But I honestly feel like when I picked my favorites, the films I felt were the best released this year, they all were on an even playing field. In a way, I could’ve just given you the ten best movies I’ve seen this year in alphabetical order and called it a day. But where’s the fun in that? The fun part is sitting down and making the hard decisions about what is truly the best. So, below, read my top ten movies of 2014.

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/Filmcast Ep. 300 – The Top 10 Films of 2014

Top10of2014

David, Devindra, and Jeff count down their top 10 films of 2014. Thanks for a great year, everyone! We’ll see you in 2015.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Life Itself - The Best Reviewed Movies of 2014

So we’ve looked at the best and worst movies of the year as rated by the largest sampling of moviegoers available publicly (IMDB). And as you know, the public opinion sometimes differs from that of professional film critics. As it should, film critics often see hundreds of new movies a year (a larger sampling of content) and have thus have a more discerning taste. So after the jump we will take a look at the best reviewed movies of 2014.

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