[ew_image url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2014/01/16/Whiplash.jpg” credit=”Daniel McFadden” align=”none”]The opening-night movie at the Sundance Film Festival is often, almost by design, a mild, light, forgettable affair. A lof of filmmakers don’t want the opening slot, and the basic idea is that the bar can’t be raised too high, because then you’ll risk making all the movies that come afterward look disappointing. But Whiplash, which opened the 30th anniversary edition of Sundance last night, didn’t just raise the bar — it electrified the spirits of everyone who saw it, including me. It stars Miles Teller, who had his breakthrough role in last year’s Sundance favorite The Spectacular Now (and will soon be seen in Divergent), and Whiplash confirms that he’s truly a spectacular actor, with a slightly damaged glamour and a face you can’t stop watching because of all the feelings it registers. Last year, I said that Teller reminded me of Elvis…
This article in the Times details the complicated habits and happenings of recruiters and the value of athletes in the future. Not only are kids choosing their “specialized” sport earlier they happen to be committing to college before they have even begun high school. As a college athlete, who signed in the begin of her senior year of high school, I can’t imagine the state of mind I would have been in to decide where I was going to college before I entered high school..but I’m not all the surprised. I decided my sport was going to be basketball in probably the fifth grade, from there I was on the road to become a college athlete. Today, these are the athletes our society demands, gone are the days where coaches hope to find highly developed athletes in their second and third year of high school. Sports have taught me so much in my life, but the stress and pressure of choosing a college before the doors to high school open could be disheartening.
“In other words, what is inevitable in a work of art is the style. To the extent that a work seems right, just, unimaginable otherwise (without loss or damage) , what we are responding to is a quality of its style. The most attractive works of art are those which give us the illusion that the artist had no alternatives, so wholly centered is he in his style.”
This is such an essential and thought-provoking idea on style in writing. When an author questions his words, why wouldn’t the reader? The words all so certain, from a myriad of people style is distinct and wholly yours. Without style a word is just a word made up of letters, lacking purpose and passion.
As she lay under the clouds in her backyard, the wind stirred, the gray clouds piled in and ice-cold raindrops fell. She sat on the lounge chair a few feet from the pool and lay facing the clouds as the rain hit her all over her body. The thoughts rolled in just as the clouds had, she wondered how she had gotten to this moment and time in her life. Was there some reason she felt so lost? She flinched here and there as the raindrops hit her face and eyes. In this moment so pure and natural she realized how insignificant she was to the world. If she didn’t move from this spot and continued to stay there not one person would notice. At that same moment a loud thunder clapped through the air and within two seconds a bright light shot through the backyard and seemed to scatter as far as she could see. This intense noise made her jolt upright but she still wouldn’t leave the rain that was now pouring down. Her clothing and hair was soaked, she looked as if she had jumped into the pool with all her clothes on. In that moment if someone had walked out of the house and seen her they would’ve seen such joy and happiness as she tilted her head back and raised her arms from her sides and stared into the sky with a wide eyed smirk. The rain continued but she made her way inside after a few more loud claps of thunder scared her ever so slightly. She trudged through the house as the water fell from her clothes and puddled on the floor leaving a trail from the back door to the foot of her bedroom door. She shut the door behind her and pulled off her shirt as she entered the room.
A chill spread through her wet body, she tossed the shirt into the air and it landed on her bed. She then looked up and let out a loud shriek that echoed through the house and a commotion broke out in her room. The dresser shook and the TV fell to the floor as screamed as the man who had been waiting in her room tried to quiet and subdue her. In only her soaked bra and shorts his hands would slip from her body just slightly as she squirmed to reach the door of her room once again. His strength was too much as he threw her to her bed and reached into his pocket for a bottle. As she struggled further he took the bottle and poured something onto his sleeve as he straddled her. Her tiny body fit in between his legs with easily, he towered over her. As their eyes met, it was like all of herself was being projected into his eyes; her pains, struggles, happiness, love and all that she held innately and intimately was no longer hers, she was his. She let out one last shriek as he covered her mouth with his damp sleeve. Her body instantly went limp, no motion or noise. At that instant the world went still and his breathing steadied, he retreated and stood at the foot of the bed. He grabbed her waist and hoisted her above his shoulder. The house now stagnant and calm, the wind seemingly punctured the walls of the house every few minutes, disturbing the quiet. He carried her through the wet hall, passing the pictures of her and her sister growing up. Her graduation from high school, her sister poised in her high school cheer uniform, the most recent family picture they had from almost seven years earlier; they had been meaning to get a new one but had seemed to always push it to the back of their priorities. In the reflection of her family photo her limp arms and legs fall over the man who is carrying her. The 21 year old is no longer what she was in that family photo.
She was gone, for now; maybe forever, and not one person knew. His departure was flawless, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He drove away as the storm roared on.
The front door to her house blew open in the wind, although it was easily hidden by the entrance that was buried in foliage and large gate that encompasses the courtyard. The next morning her cell phone started to ring through her empty house. Call after call, a text here and there. Her anxious mother on the other end. Annoyed and anticipating that she was sound asleep as it was only 10 am. The phone vibrated as she received a voicemail from her mother and a text from a friend.