Monday, April 28, 2008

Expelled Lawsuit Update

Oh, a quick post before I go off to study for an exam!  Don & I saw Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed this afternoon.  Yes, we've broken our no documentaries moratorum for the 4th or 5th time.  Anyway, the review'll be recorded on Friday, so look for it this weekend.  

My positions have completely reversed!  The use of John Lennon's Imagine, which I thought sounded problematic, looks like fair use to me.  Only a couple of lines are played, and they are played to illustrate the fact that one of the speakers is basically saying the same thing.  I think that it falls well within the fair use guidelines. 
However, the cell visualization, regardless of weather it technically violates any copyrights or not, is just a rip-off of The Inner Life of a Cell.  The music, the visual choices, the cutting; straight lifts.  They might not have technically done anything wrong, if they show that they simply used similar research material as a basis, but it is really bad taste.  There is no way to say that they were not, at the least, copying it in spirit.  A gentleman would not stoop so low.   Save This Page Add to Technorati Favorites

Excuse me, while I kiss the sky

Here's a question that has been plauging Christian filmmakers for a long time:  Should they go to work in Hollywood and bring Christian values to Hollywood films, or should they try to create an independant Christian filmmaking community outside the studio system?

Barbara Nicolosi is perhaps the greatest champion of Christians going to Hollywood.  She writes Church of the Masses, an occasionally interesting but often boring blog on Hollywood movies.  She also runs the ACT One screenwriting program, a screenwriting workshop for aspiring Christian screenwriters.  Nicolosi wrote about this a while back in a post on Facing the Giants, specifically saying these strong words:  

On the other extreme is Doug Phillips, the  founder of the San Antonio Independant Christian Film Festival.  He said:

This is a tough debate to comment upon, because I think that both of them have valid points, although I think that Nicolosi is being much more broad and condescending(although Phillips does this himself, as I'll explain in the end, as it's kind of a tangent).  I agree with Nicolosi on many of her points of criticism of Facing the Giants.  It does present questionable theology and has pat answers to tough problems.  However, none of that is a fault of its being an independant film.  For an indie film, it is well shot, with good production values.  The acting isn't the best, but the lead, played by Alex Kendrick, is more than competant enough to carry the film. 

On the other hand, I also agree with Phillips that Hollywood is great at producing films by throwing money at them and not so great at creating strong messages.  All you have to look at is a film like The Nativity Story.  It looked great, but has such a generic message that it lacks any of the power of the Biblical story.  And speaking of bad acting, just look at Keisha Castle-Hughes in that film.

However, each of them ignore the exceptions to their arguement that disprove their sweeping generalizations.  Nicolosi in general seems to dismiss any sort of independant filmmaking, which is often revered in the film world as the realm of true innovation.  Scott Derrickson may be the pinaccle of Nicolosi's vision for Hollywood, a Biola University graduate who is now directing big budget films like the Keneau Reeves remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still.  He's a Christian who's proven himself to be capable of making profitable films and is now getting bigger exposure.  He is in the position to put his, presumably, Christian values in the forefront of a major Hollywood production, even if it isn't an explictily Christian film.  Nothing wrong with what he's, and every other Christian in Hollywood is doing.

Except that Phillips is right.  Christians need their own, unique, independant film world if they want to make films about Christian ideas and themes.  Why?  Because Hollywood is a business, not an art movement.  Hollywood wants to make money, more than anything else.  Why did we get The Natvity Story?  Because someone wanted to cash in on a percieved market the made lots of money for The Passion.  Why is Scott Derrickson, graduate of a Christian college, making Keneau Reeves sci-fi remakes?  Because someone thinks it'll make money.  

The problem that I have with this arguement is that the two are not mutually exclusive.  We need more Christians working in Hollywood, to bring light into the darkness.  I would be great if enough Christians started working in Hollywood that violence and sex became less celebrated in Hollywood films.  

But we also need independant Christian film producers.  Film producers who can make films about Christian themes that appeal to niche markets that are ignored by Hollywood.  Making $100,000 profit in Hollywood isn't enough to justify a film, but it can be a boon to a indie filmmaker.  Hollywood makes movies, even those that have Christian themes, for mass audiences.  That means not just Christians, and not just Americans.  Independant filmmakers don't need to worry about depending on a strong box office return from Asia to cover their expenses.  They can free themselves from the shackles of Hollywood budgets and union rules and make films from the heart, even with a small amount of money.

What really saddens me is that both Nicolosi and Phillips are wrong about their assumptions.  

Independant filmmakers are far more than amatuer hacks fooling around in the dark.  These "unprofessional" filmmakers can bring fresh perspectives that are sorely needed in the industrialized film world of Hollywood.  Just look at what filmmakers like Kevin Smith, Quenten Tarraintno, Wes Anderson, and Robert Rodriguez have done to revoutionize the film industry.  And lets not forget those great pioneers of the 1970s, people like George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppolla, who worked outside the studio system that didn't have time for their ideas.  Nicolosi not only insults Christian independant filmmakers, but film artists around the world who prusue film as a passion, not as a business.

Phillips, on the other hand, seems to view Hollywood with flame-tinted glasses.  He sees great tasting poision all over Hollywood, ignroing the many films that portray Christian themes in very postivie lights.  Films like I am Legend, I'm Not There, and Juno; 3 films that I've seen in the past year that not only have uplifting messages, they have positive depictions of Christanity.  Phillips seems to see only the bad, the worst of the worst, even in films that are inoffensive. 

On an aside about Phillips:  In the article linked above Phillips says that the Narnia films "are becoming increasingly darker, more 21st Century teen rebellion and the occult.”  This seemed like a strange comment to me, considering that the worst criticism that I've heard about the films is that they lack a strong narrative and dilute the Christian values of the books.  He singles out Prince Caspain and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one film that hasn't been released yet and another that has not even begun filming.  I emailed Phillips for clarification, and his assistant responded by saying that the quote was possibly innaccurate.  I suppose Phillips doesn't mind be misquoted, or he would ask for a correction.  The assistant said that the quote was correct in expression Phillips general feeling about the Narnia films.  When I pressed for more clarification, or perhaps a reference to an article which expanded upon this, particularly the aspect of the unreleased and unproduced films, the assistant responded:  "Second, Mr. Phillips attended a private event with a leading Disney executive who commented himself on the evolving and increasingly more mature nature of the Narnia films in the series. At the event, Mr. Phillips was shown previews of Caspian and never-before-seen still images from the Dawn Treader project, both of which left him with the conclusion that the direction of the project was emphatically darker, and had a distinctively more occult feeling and imagery."

This information is frustratingly vague to be making such accusations, and as I said in a response to the assistant, much the same charge could be leveled against the Narnia books.  I mean, the pagan god Baachus appears as a character in Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has such horrors as an island where nightmares come to life to trap you forever in a living hell.  And, as I recall, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader dealt pretty heavily with teen rebellion and the less obvious sins of jealousy and envy that so often tempt and torment teenagers.  I received no further response.  FWIW, as much as I find many of the Vision Forum activities rather silly, their "200 Year Plan for Christian Families"(or whatever its called) is a refreshing attempt at creating a lasting Christian legacy, which goes against disturbing  trend of assuming that Jesus will be here next week and the future is of no consequence.  

Regardless, there is no need for Hollywood Christians to despise independent filmmakers for working outside the system.  Indie filmmakers created Hollywood, once upon a time.  And there is no reason for indie filmmakers to throw stones without cause at Hollywood, as there are many decent and devout Christians working there.  If you want an industry or two to complain about evil activities and decry Christians for working for, you need only look around your own community and find the pay-day loan centers.  I'd like to believe that those vile centers of theft and corruption have no Christians in their employ, but I am afraid that statistics would indicate that more than a few work at these plentiful houses of evil.  

Thanks to our friend Tom for forwarding us these thought-provoking links.  Sorry it took so long to do a write up.  

Friday, April 25, 2008

Original Article Coming Monday

Sorry, no entry today.  Too busy with getting stuff together to graduate, not to mention work stuff that's coming up with a major deadline.

I'm working on a little editorial article on Monday, based upon some links a kind reader sent in about the future of Christian film.  I've been thinking about it all week, and thinking about film's future in general, so hopefully you'll like what I have to say.  
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed has been making a lot of news lately.  It was the number 10 movie over the weekend(admittedly in a weekend of lousy movies; No. 1 was The Forbidden Kingdom, a Jet Li/Jackie Chan film, by way of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3-as much as I like Jackie Chan, and occasionally enjoy Jet Li, this looked like crap to me).   They are getting enough recognition that the movie dominates the entire first page of Google results for "expelled."

Anyway, I've been following this movie for a while, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it.  We were supposed to review it for the podcast last friday, but Don had to go and take a vacation that weekend.  So we'll have something next week, Lord willing.  

However, I did want to post this interesting news bit, since it's not really related to anything we might be reviewing in the film.  The producers of the movie have been hit with two legal complaints regarding material being used without permission in the film.  

First, back on April 9 the producers of the wonderful "Inner Life of A Cell" video sent a letter to the producers of Expelled demanding that the animation segment in the film that depicts cellular functions be removed.  The charge was expanded to a lawsuit on April 14.  You can see a side by side comparison here, and while they do look very similar, I think that if the producers of Expelled can show that they simply based their animation on the same scientific data, then they should be in the clear.  However, cutting edge science does have lots of tricky legal issues, and some of it may itself be copyrighted, so this could be a sticky issue.   The response from the producers says simply that the claims are "unfounded" and does not elaborate.

The other one seems like it could actually get the producers in trouble.  Yoko Ono and the rest of John Lennon's heirs have filed a lawsuit to bar the filmmakers from continuing to use Lennon's song "Imagine" in the film.   The producers have countered with a statement on their website, which says:
"Unbiased viewers of the film will see that the Imagine clip was used as part of a social commentary in the exercise of free speech and freedom of inquiry. "

As a filmmaker, I have some experience with the fair use doctrine that the producers are trying to use to defend their use of the film.  I haven't seen the film yet, but I think that they have a very shakey case.  I'm no lawyer, but based on my readings of fair use law, it seems that it is permissalbe to use copyrighted material if you are making a statement about that material.

For example, in a parody film that I made a few months ago, I use a movie trailer and the audio from a television commercial to make a statement on the strange and ludicrious similarities between the two.  I initially considered using on the song from the commercial, since that song has been associated so strongly with the brand, but the problem with that is that by divorcing the song from the context it is merely a song.  I would still be making a statement about the movie trailer, but what, if any, statement would I be making about the song?  I might be able to defend it based upon the song's strong association with the commercials, but it would be a bit of a stretch.  

This is a problem that filmmakers often have involving music and fair use.  Often, filmmakers will legitimately use video material to make a commentary by, say, juxtaposing video of violence on the news with complaints of violence in video games.  This is legitimate, "fair use" of the material.  However, if they put a popular rock song over the video, that would be copyright violation, unless they were somehow making a statement about the song as well.  I'll have to pay attention in the film to how Lennon's music is used to see if it seems fair use to me.  
I do think that any film that markets and positions itself as Christian should be engaged in any legally questionable activities.  Christians should be careful in their exercise of freedom not to cause others to stumble.  Hopefully the producers of Expelled will be forthright and honest about these issues.  

For a brief overview of Fair Use, watch this excellent video:

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Fall of Night

Wow, we must be getting into the thick of the movie season, because new Christian moves just keep popping up on my radar.  

This one is called The Fall of Night, and you can visit its official site here.  I don't know much else about it, other than the director/writer is on the board of the 168 Film Festival, a Christian film competition.  

This one looks like it has an interesting story, and the female lead seems to bring some good acting to the piece, judging from the trailer.  It does look a little low budget, but if the story is good that is more than forgivable.  This one made the news because it will be screening at a couple of film festivals in the near future, so if you live in London, Orlando, or Muskogee, check it out and drop us a line.  

You can watch the trailer here:

And some reactions from audience members here(interestingly, the "faith-based audience" description is the only overt clue that this is a Christian film):

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Impostor

Coming soon, Christian movie The Impostor, a story about a government agent involved in finding an alien spy on Earth, only to realize that he might be the spy himself.  Starring Gary Sinise, Vincent D'Onofrio...wait a second.  That's not The Impostor.  That's Impostor.  Right. 

Well, it's about time they did a Christian re-make.  Hopefully the old Starship Troopers costumes they used in the original are still available.  
Wait.   It's not that kind of movie either.
This movie stars Kevin Max(of dcTalk) as a Christian rock singer who suffers some kind of breakdown and realizes that he, himself, is the impostor.  The movie's not done yet, and the editor just posted on the Christian Filmmaker Yahoo group that they're hoping to finish the editing this week and get the film done completely by June.    
You can watch the trailer below, and I hope that it lives up to the promise of not having one conversion/redemption experience and now everything is great:
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Monday, April 21, 2008

Treasure Blind

Here's a fun looking film that I heard about over on the Reelcast blog.  

It's called Treasure Blind, about a cab driver who discovers a map to Civil War gold.  The only problem is that the map is written in Braille.  Apparently too lazy to find a book on how to read Braille, he enlists the help of a blind child to search for the treasure.  I added the lazy part, but there might be a more reasonable explanation in the film.  

You can watch the trailer at the film's website, here.  The trailer is way to oblique about the film's story, featuring almost no dialogue from the film and lots of enigmatic title cards.  I'm not a fan of trailers that leave you confused, and the official synopsis on the site is even worse, making little or no sense.  I do think it is kind of a fun idea, since braille was originally invented as a military code.  

Still, the film looks like it could be lots of fun if done well.  I'm a sucker for these National Treasure type stories, but I insist that they be done in a fun way.  What good is a treasure hunting story that's dour and serious?  Or maybe its just difficult and needs a deft storyteller to pull off a serious treasure story.  Who knows?

All I know is that I want to see this film, although the $24 price tag is a bit steep.  We're trying to limit our spending on the podcast, as it doesn't pay very well.  Maybe I can talk don into splitting this with me.  

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Friday, April 18, 2008

A note on our next episode

Just a note for everyone who likes the podcast(who doesn't?).  Don's out of state this week, so we're going to have to delay it for a bit.  Our plan is to review Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (after paying full price to see it in a theatre no less!) in time for posting it the weekend of May 3, and by then I should nearly done with school so we might be able to get back on a regular schedule.  

Or not.

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Come What May Trailer, Clips and More

Advent Film Group's Come What May has, according to Christian Newswire, finished pickup shooting, which should mean that it'll come out soon.  The official site still says "Late Spring 2008," so they have about 2 months left to make that, unless they go for a House-type delay.  

The news piece, which is basically just a posting of an Advent Film Group press release, also talks a bit about AFG's work to create a film education that is an alternative to film school for homeschooled students.  As a film school student, and husband of a public school teacher, I have certain issues with the whole concept, but I have to give them credit that they are putting together a movie that should get a certain degree of exposure in the Christian market.    
Regardless, the new clip that's been post on the film's website has me a bit more excited in the movie.  Although the acting of the younger guy, who I think is the main character, is a bit weak, the older character is excellent.  It might be more the fact that he has a speech to say and the other guy just has to sit there saying "uh-huh," not much dialogue in this scene, but its good.  
I just hope that the film doesn't simplify the issue of abortion too much.  Sure, the moral arguments are pretty cut and dried for most people, one way or the other, but legally, and culturally,  the entire thing is such a mess that it can't be boiled down to "overturn Roe v. Wade."  Its a lot more complicated that that, and we have almost 35 years of legal decisions and laws post-Roe v. Wade that need to be considered as well.  The point, in my opinion, needs to be made that the only way to stop abortion is to make people stop wanting to have abortions.  Maybe educating people, maybe simply creating a culture that respects life, all life, more.  I don't think passing a law will really change anything.  It was illegal in most places prior to 1973, but the whole reason that the case came to the Supreme Court was that people wanted abortions.  Making it illegal won't stop that.
Murder has been illegal for thousands of years, and its still pretty popular among murderers.  
Sorry for the digression.  Enjoy the trailer and clip below:
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reel Dreams Film Competition

Go over to GodTube(ugh, I know, but its only there so what can you do?) and check out out Regent University's Reel Dreams film contest.

This film features entries of 3-5 minute films about a person who faces a moral dilemma and then experiences the consequences of that dilemma.  
I haven't watched any of these yet(no time; work/school are killing me right now), but I noticed at least one clay animation short.  Vote for that just to give clay animation its just due!  Save This Page Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

KingDomWood Christian Film Festival

There's another Christian Film Festival on the horizon.  This October, now that the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival has moved to January(to compete with Sundance?), Christian filmmakers can enter their works in the KingDomWood  Christian Film Festival in Atlanta, GA.  Actually, it looks like it will be held in a suburb of Atlanta known as Lithonia, GA.  

I'd love to be able to go to this, but I think almost all my money is going to have to be saved to go the SAICFF this next year.  We'll see though.    And we'll keep you posted on any future developments of the KingDomWood Christian Film Festival.  

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Michael O. Sajbel Interview at Christian Cinema

Christian Cinema has an interview with the enigmatic but prolific filmmaker Michael O. Sajbel.  While I still say that Sajbel really, really needs to do a director's commentary on his films(is he trying to emulate Spielberg?), mainly because his films have lots of elements that I would love to hear his thought process for doing.  Even more than Spielberg, Sajbel is almost completely absent from the extra features on his films, appearing only in the background of some of the documentary features.

Somewhat disappointingly, Sajbel does not talk much about what we consider his best work, his early pictures with Billy Graham's World Wide Pictures.  He mentions them in passing, but I would have loved to hear more about his early career.  He does trot out the same complaint that producer Rick Eldridge had about the Fox Faith association hurting the film and stereotyping it as a Christian film. 

Nevertheless, Sajbel does drop some good bits in the interview.  He mentions that his next film may(or may not) be an adaptation of Eli, a novel by Bill Myers that postulates a classic Christian sci-fi "What if" scenario:  What if Jesus was born in contemporary America instead of ancient Rome?  Sounds like it could be interesting, but I still think that Mark Millar did this one topic to death(so to speak) with his excellent  Chosen.

Sajbel does have a gift for self promotion that you have to give him credit for; consider this quote:  

"If you can find it see August 32nd on Earth and if you had only two films to see before you died see The Ultimate Gift and Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc.”

(Christian Cinema dot com)

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Friday, April 11, 2008

The Art of Edward Knippers

The christian fine art world is too often narrowly viewed as simply Thomas Kincaid and his knock-offs.  As it happens, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is still pretty good at inspriing artists.  

Since we love art here at SuperCandid, I thought I share a Christian artist I've come across.  Edward Knippers is a painter who creates these lovely, and often compelling, expressionsistic works depicting scenes from the Bible.  

Knippers says himself that:  "The human body is at the center of my artistic imagination because the body is an essential element in the Christian doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, and Resurrection.

Disembodiment is not an option for the Christian. Christ places His Body and His Blood at the heart of our faith in Him. Our faith comes to naught if the Incarnation was not accomplished in actual time and space – if God did not send His Son to us in a real body with real blood."

Powerful, even important words.  Words that many of us Christians would do well to remember.  

So take a moment a go look at Knippers' art.  But be warned.  He doesn't shy away from the human body; in fact, he emphasizes it.  Physicality is the key of his art.  This isn't the stuff you'll find in Sunday school.  This is mature art, in the best sense of the word.  

PS-I found this post because of an excellent article on Theology Forum by Sarah Lodwick.  Take a moment to read that as well; it might help you understand some of where I'm coming from when I demand more out of my Christian art.  

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Thursday, April 10, 2008


Christanity takes another of its the tremulous steps towards so-called Web 2.0.  A while back we wrote about Faith Visuals, and we also mentioned the ill-concieved(IMO) GodTube.  

Now we have another contender, this time a little site called iAmlifyFaith.  This company has been around for a little while, delievering Christian content in the form of downloads(both audio and video).  Unfortunatly, it all seems to be for purchase, with little or nothing for free, so I couldn't find anything to link to for you to watch or listen to.  

The article that brought this to my attention was a CBNews story about how the site is now hoping to partner with churches to bring sermons to its online store.  The site says that this is a futuristic way of doing business that cuts out expensive costs like CDs and DVDs.  

I agree that such a thing seems like a good way for Churches to make money, and I can see many churches that have a high revenue stream from sermon sales being interested.  However, I think that most of the people who buy sermons won't be canny to this new technology.  Moreover, I don't see why anyone should use a site like iAmplifyFaith instead of simply selling on iTunes, Amazon, or Myspace.  If you're cutting costs and embracing technology, why not go with the big dogs?  I do wonder what iAmplifyFaith's fees are?  Amazon charges 55% of the non-sale price, and both iTunes and Myspace take a cut as well, so maybe they're a better alternative for Churches in that direction?  

All in all though, I'm more in favor of free stuff on the internet, from Churches and otherwise.  Mars Hill Church has tons of free podcasts and such, although the Film & Theology podcast I loved so dearly fell by the wayside a long time ago.  

It should be noted as well, that iAmplifyFaith is part of a larger network called iAmplify, which also peddles gambling advice among its businesses.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Oath of the Desormeau

How do some films get distribution and others languish in obscurity? Luck? The Will of God?

The trailer looks great, and I'm interested enough that I'm going to buy a copy out of pocket for the podcast as soon as I get home today. This film won the audience award at the San Antonion Independant Christian Film Festival in 2006, and the "Most Dramatic" award from the WYSIWYG Film Festival, also in 2006.

The story, according to the film's website:
"Shortly before his death at the hands of Napoleon’s enemies, Alain Desormeau implores Arnaud Rousseau to protect his children, Julien and Helene. Rousseau agrees and, as a symbol of his promise, receives the ring of Desormeau’s late wife. Facing his own death years later, Rousseau gives the ring to Julien who in turn pledges to protect Rousseau’s family. However, Julien soon discovers his oath demands much more than he had thought as he is faced with the choice of saving himself or keeping his promise to defend those he loves."

The film's website also mentions a connection to Massacres of the South by Alexandre Dumas. I've not read that particular Dumas, but I think its about Huguenots, French Protestants from the 16th century.

ANY film that is inspired by Dumas gets my attention, particularly a Christian film set in Napoleonic France. The trailer reminds me of Jane Austin crossed with The Three Musketeers, which could be awesome!

Aletheia Stage & Film Co. Richie's Blog: Christian Street Cred

PS-Read that blog post if you get a chance. It is an interesting comment on the Christian Filmmaker's need to create great art in order to overcome prejudice by non-Christians. Good stuff!

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Episode Twenty Six - Power Play

This week review Power Play, a film from director Rocky Lane, who you may remember from our previous podcast review of Homecoming.

This is also our fourth film from Michael O. Sajbel(anyone know how to pronouce his name?), making him our number one most reviewed Christian filmmaker, since he produced Homecoming, wrote Power Play, and directed The Ultimate Gift(our review) and One Night with the King(our review).


My golden calf this week is Dominionists for Tancredo, the most bizarre blog I've ever seen. I think it is a dead on, totally genius parody of crazy Christians. Either that or its really scary.

Halfway through, Jon was talking about 'Midnight Run'.

Note: We messed up the recording... So my voice (and nose whistle) are much louder than Jon's voice (and bodily functions). I think we figured it out for next time though. Only 26 episodes and we finally (maybe) got it! - Don

The SuperCandid Muxtape


Friday, April 4, 2008

Blue Like Jazz movie Interview

CT Movies, always reliable for good Christian movie news, and good movie reviews in general, has a new interview with Steve Taylor and Donald Miller.  As we previously reported, Taylor is adapting Blue Like Jazz, Miller's bestselling pseudo-memoir into a movie.  

In the interview Taylor and Miller talk a bit about the movie, which will start filming in Portland next month.  Taylor mentions that they are hoping for a 2009 release.  They don't get much into the story, but they do talk a bit about inventing the story, since the book really doesn't have any plot lines other than a series of ruminations and conversations.  Based on my reading of the book, I'd guess that the story will involve a disillusioned college-type who wants more out of the church than just something to do on Sunday mornings, but is fed up with the Pharisee-like rules of traditional conservative Christanity in America.  I'll be that the girl that Miller was obviously in love with in the book(his female "friend") will have some sort of major role.  There will probably be lots of hanging out in bars with tatooted and pierced alternative-Christians.  

God only knows what music they'll put on the soundtrack.  At least one jazz song, for the scene where the main character is upset with God, his female "friend," and life in general, and is walking alone in the rain when he sees a blind jazz musician improving on the sidewalk with a saxaphone.  He then realizes that, like his earlier tirade against jazz music, he's been wrong about a lot of things.  

I'll be money the scene plays out very close to that.  Check back in a year or so and we'll see.  

I have high hopes for the movie, mainly because of Taylor's invovlement. The Second Chance was a better movie than Blue Like Jazz was a book, so hopefully he elevates the material.  

A couple of other blogs have already commented on this, with interesting remarks.  Will Humes at OnethingIknow isn't too happy with the idea of the book being turned into a movie, and he points to Greg Horton over at the parish, who's comments make me think that he's never seen The Second Chance, or just didn't get it, or else he'd give Taylor more credit than dismissing him as a music person who needs to "stick to movies."  One of Horton's commentators does have a great casting idea; Richard Dreyfuss as Miller.  That would be awesome, and a perfect fit.  If only he was 30 years younger...who's a young Richard Dreyfuss these days?

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Buddy Guard has a trailer!

Remember Buddy Guard?  No?  Shame on you for not keeping tabs on new Christian movies.   Fortunately, you have us to do that for you, so no need to worry.  

Buddy Guard is complete, and has started screening at theatres, possibly near you!  I thought you all might like to see the trailer, so I've embeded it below.  
Personally, the trailer just feels too long to me, and I don't really get a good sense of what motivates the main character, or what the heck is going on with the plot.  Still, I think it looks like it has a good message and I admire any independent filmmaker who is able to get a film to theatres.  I've sent an email out regarding a screener, so maybe we can get a review soon.  
Also on Youtube are a couple of interesting supplemental trailers for the film.  One for pastors, the other for congregations.  The director, David Clevenger, addresses the viewer directly and makes the case for the film's positive values.  
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