Short challenges- The ending of Whiplash

Short challenges #2 and #3




Directions:  Complete the following challenges, and complete it to the best of your ability. If you think one option is boring or undoable, choose another one. Pick what is closest to your spirit, and what you think will best show your knowledge of the movie. I believe in student choice. So, feel free to use your ability to choose to your own advantage. ( 2 pages each challenge) Short Challenge #2  Option #1: The ending of Whiplash is tremendously important. Just in case you need a refresher, the video below contains the last 9 minutes of the film. Write a 2-page essay addressing the following question. How does the ending of Whiplash read back on the rest of the movie?.

In other words, in what ways does that final scene (in which Andrew Neyman performs the song Caravan solo, with Terence Fletcher leading) encourage us to revisit earlier scenes in the movie.You might do a comparison, for example, between that final scene and an earlier interaction between Neyman and Fletcher. Or you might focus on the connections between that scene and an interaction between Neyman and his girlfriend. For this assignment, just make sure you are close reading the ending alongside an earlier moment in the film, to think through their connections?  Short Challenge #3  Option #1: Let’s think about that ending! In a 2015 commencement speech at Princeton University.

Christopher Nolan talked about the final shot in Inception. Here’s what he said: At the end of the film, there’s a spinning top that’s spinning and if it falls or doesn’t fall is the key idea. It is a dream or a reality?. The way the end of that film worked, Leonard DiCaprio’s character Cobb was off with his kids. He was in his own subjective reality and didn’t really care anymore and that makes a statement that perhaps all levels of reality are equally valid. The camera movies over to the spinning top and just before the spinning top appear to be wobbling there’s a cut to black, and I skip out of the back of the theater before people catch me.

In case you want to watch the entire talk, you can get it below. The passage above starts at about 11:30:    (Links to an external site.) So, for this challenge I want you to address this question: Go over that ending yourself, and try to figure out the point of the ambiguous ending. Do you agree with Nolan’s idea that the point of the movie is that “all levels of reality are equally valid”?


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