Chasing Oscar gold | Inquirer Entertainment

Chasing Oscar gold

Take Five
/ 12:24 AM December 21, 2014

LOS ANGELES—Writer-director Damien Chazelle is only 29, but he is already living the Hollywood dream. His second feature “Whiplash” swept up trophies at Sundance, Deauville and elsewhere, and is tipped for glory in the coming awards season.

It won a nomination for best supporting actor for J.K. Simmons at the Golden Globes, taking place next month. Chazelle talked to Agence France-Presse about making the film, winning awards and schmoozing the Oscar-bestowing members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

How is the Oscars and awards season campaign going?


The path really began in Sundance nearly a year ago. We made the film in six months, from preparation to post-production. Filming was done in 19 days. So we spent more time talking about it than actually making it! I am working with Sony Pictures… they know how to make this kind of film work. From December to January, it’s (Hollywood) awards season. It’s important to meet members of the Academy at special screenings. But if people don’t like your film, you can’t do anything!


What do you think of Sony’s decision to cancel the release of “The Interview”?

They didn’t have any choice. But it’s dangerous… It can lead to some degree of self-censorship by filmmakers. If there is something good to come out of it, it’s maybe that (studios) will understand that they need more computer security.

Can you talk about your next film, “La La Land”?

It’s a musical comedy with Miles Teller—who has the main role in “Whiplash.” I tried for a long time to persuade people to make this film, since 2010.

When I was in school, I made a musical comedy as my end-of-course thesis. [To] make a real [one] in Hollywood is a dream.

It’s about two artists who are trying to find their way. It’s very personal. I am very nostalgic for the golden age of cinema and musical comedies—Jacques Demy, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly.


Did your father understand your artistic dreams more than those of the character in “Whiplash”?

I was lucky to have a very encouraging family. Well, they didn’t really have a choice because I knew when I was very young that I wanted to make films. My father is a mathematician, but he’s also a big fan of jazz and blues. For him, America is the land of music. AFP

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TAGS: “Whiplash”, Awards, Damien Chazelle, La La Land, movie, Oscars

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