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Blue Like Jazz (2012)
Friday, April 13, 2012
Mature thematic material, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and some language.
Marshall Allman, Claire Holt, Tania Raymonde
Donald Miller, Steve Taylor, Ben Pearson
In "Blue Like Jazz," Don (Allman), a pious nineteen-year-old sophomore at a Texas junior college, impulsively decides to escape his evangelical upbringing for life in the Pacific Northwest at one of the most progressive campuses in America, Reed College in Portland.
Blue Like Jazz (2012) | Review
A Parable by Any Other Name
There is also my association with the cinematographer and co writer of the screenplay of Blue Like Jazz, Ben Pearson. Ben was in Wichita with mutual friend Gay Quisenberry showing his new movie Kabul 24 at the Tallgrass Film Festival. I had a lunch meeting with Ben and a few others and was telling him of my disdain of much of what was considered "Christian Cinema." I told him of one of the few movies I had seen that I liked called Second Chances. It was real, communicated truth, and for a freshman effort from Steve Taylor I was very pleased with the movie for its reality and authenticity. Little did I know, and was shockingly surprised, when Ben told me that he had also written the screenplay for the movie and had also done the cinematography. We developed a friendship after that and I was pleased when I heard of his own involvement in Blue Like Jazz, the somewhat controversial novel being made into a movie with Christian overtones, written by Donald Miller.
I went through a gamut of emotions when my friend Gay Quisenberry told me the movie was having difficulty raising funds for production. I was shocked because the novel had been a New York Times Best Seller. I couldn't imagine the movie having difficulty being made. I was working on my own short film, The Long Walk, at the time and Gay told me about a fund raising website run through Amazon called Kickstarter. Apparently Blue Like Jazz was using this site as a means for fans to support the making of Blue Like Jazz. It wasn't long before Blue Like Jazz ran the most successful Kickstarter Campaign to date. Raising over $350,000, the movie was made with a theatrical release booked. I had something to look forward to. I knew several people who the book had impacted and knew the movie would have the same impact on others The loosely-adapted movie basically has Miller growing up in a strict Southern Baptist home where he comes to recognize much of the hypocrisy that goes on within the church... and in particular between his mother and the youth pastor. His father, outcast and divorced from his mother, has arranged for him to attend the ultra liberal arts college in Portland Oregon, Reed College. After going through a sort of crisis of faith and a rejection of his beliefs, Miller journey is a humorous, yet realistic, rediscovery of his faith. We see an honest search ultimately not just in Miller but in other characters in the story.
Copyright © 2012 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
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