The Sabbatical

by Taylor J. Williams

In this video essay, Taylor Williams examines an important and often overlooked structural step that can be employed in the buildup to a film’s climax: The Sabbatical. During the Sabbatical a character briefly escapes whatever he was caught up in and takes a leave of absence, or something happens to break the momentum and the character is given a chance to reflect on the situation. Using Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash as an example, Williams illustrates how the Sabbatical can add emotional depth to a character’s plight, by raising a conscious moral debate.

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