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Tag: Steve Taylor

Of fatwas, faith and film: An interview with Steve Taylor (Start Marriage Right)

If you popped over from Start Marriage Right, welcome! You might be interested in this post, about how and why I got involved with Start Marriage Right. You also might be interested in this little party my husband Joel and I threw.

This is my second post now for Start Marriage Right, and I’m pretty excited about it. Not only did I get to see “Blue Like Jazz,” the movie adaption of one of my all-time favorite books, but also I got to talk to filmmaker Steve Taylor afterward. Here’s what Taylor had to say about the film, about whether “Blue Like Jazz” author Donald Miller is as “winsome” as he seems and about that “fatwa” against their film.

Start Marriage Right: What is it about this movie then, before anybody had even seen it, that would make them uncomfortable?

Steve Taylor: I honestly don’t know. The one thing I’d said early on, because it was four years trying to make this movie, was, “This is not a family movie. You cannot tell this story in the context of a family movie. You can’t do it accurately.” The overwhelming response I got from that blog posting years ago was a combination of, “Duh,” and, “Well, of course you have to have (that kind of) content. Why would we see a movie like that if it didn’t feel real to us?” So I don’t think this is an issue for most people, and I think most of us would agree that as much as we all love the idea of family entertainment, the thought of any media that has to do with Christianity having to be de facto safe for the whole family — that’s not a good development. I don’t see how anybody would think that was a good thing. I understand why some Christian radio stations might want to brand themselves that way, or some media companies might want to brand themselves, but if the public starts thinking that they’re interchangeable, that’s not good for Christianity, and that’s not good for family entertainment.”

For the rest of the story, read Of fatwas, faith and film: An interview with Steve Taylor (Start Marriage Right).

Photo credit: Echowhitefox Photography.


Judson film fest steps onto national stage (Sun-Times Media)

I look forward to covering the Imago Film Festival at Judson University every year; this year, especially, because it ended with a pre-release screening of “Blue Like Jazz,” inspired by one of my all-time favorite books.

ELGIN — What’s a movie that begins: “Do you know the difference between being free and being high? Yeah, me neither,” doing at a Christian film festival?

Exactly what Imago Film Festival director Terrence Wandtke had envisioned for the short film festival, now in its seventh year at Judson University in Elgin.

Imago stepped onto the national stage for the first time this year with the highly anticipated movie adaptation of Donald Miller’s New York Times-bestselling book “Blue Like Jazz,” its first-ever pre-release showing of a film.

The festival ran March 27 to 31 at Judson, ending with that screening and a keynote question-and-answer session between Wandtke and its co-writer, producer and director Steve Taylor.

“Blue Like Jazz” was something the festival director “actively pursued” after seeing a trailer for the film last summer, he said. Luckily, he said, one of Judson’s trustees knew Taylor from his career in Christian music.

“I think the subject matter is completely appropriate, and I think the tone of the film is very on target for our festival,” Wandtke said.

“One of the things I like so much about the book is Donald Miller is so refreshingly honest about his Christianity, his struggles. Too often there’s this standard pattern that people feel like they have to fulfill, usually showing Christianity as some sort of heroic destination, rather than the beginning of a story.”

For the rest of the story, read Judson film fest steps onto national stage (Sun-Times Media).

Photo credit: Andrew Nelles for Sun-Times Media.