Through a Screen Darkly

Overview

In the style of a cinematic travel journal, film columnist and critic Jeffrey Overstreet of Christianity Today and lookingcloser.org leads readers down paths less traveled to explore some of the best films you’ve never seen. Examining a feast of movies, from blockbusters to buried treasure, Overstreet peels back the layers of work by popular entertainers and under-appreciated masters. He shares excerpts from conversations with filmmakers like Peter Jackson, Wim Wenders, Kevin Smith, Scott Derrickson, producer ...

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0830743154 BRAND NEW. We are a tested and proven company with over 900,000 satisfied customers since 1997. We ship daily M-F. Choose expedited shipping (if available) for much ... faster delivery. Delivery confirmation on all US orders. Read more Show Less

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Paper Back New Dozens of modern films shatter the expected criteria of Christian film, yet far surpass the few films that fit that genre in wrestling with deeply Christian ... themes. Jeff Overstreet's perceptive encounter with the moviesopens our eyes to the dazzling array of such films, and through analysis, anecdote, and advice dares us to view them in new and more intelligent ways. An informal appendix of recommended titles for film discussion groups and additional online resources extends the life of this book far beyond the text--but Through a Screen Darkly is a pleasure in itself, a useful resource for heretofore casual or seasoned viewers. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In the style of a cinematic travel journal, film columnist and critic Jeffrey Overstreet of Christianity Today and lookingcloser.org leads readers down paths less traveled to explore some of the best films you’ve never seen. Examining a feast of movies, from blockbusters to buried treasure, Overstreet peels back the layers of work by popular entertainers and under-appreciated masters. He shares excerpts from conversations with filmmakers like Peter Jackson, Wim Wenders, Kevin Smith, Scott Derrickson, producer Ralph Winter, and stars like Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Keanu Reeves and the cast of Serenity, drawing “war-stories” from his encounters with movie stars, moviemakers, moviegoers and other critics in both mainstream and religious circles. He argues that what makes some films timeless rather than merely popular has everything to do with the way these artists—whether they know it or not—have captured reflections of God in their work. Through a Screen Darkly also includes a collection of reviews, humorous anecdotes and on-the-scene film festival reports, as well as recommendations for movie discussion groups and meditations on how different films echo the myriad ways in which Christ captured the attention and imagination of culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
If viewing a film is to be a spiritual exercise, one must be open to conversion. Overstreet, cultural commentator and film critic for Christianity Today, leads readers through his own cinematic conversion in this compelling volume. Overstreet's greatest gift is the masterful way he brings a spirit of discernment to the world of film. For example, determining when sex and violence is artfully employed or when it is just plain gratuitous is not always an easy task. Overstreet uses inspiring anecdotes from his life to show how the process of discerning the content and meaning of films takes patience, prayer and humility. He exhibits all of these traits through his movie commentaries and invites the reader to set aside biases about what is "properly" Christian and look deeper toward how cinema as an art form affects one's soul. This, according to Overstreet, is the work of God. At times, the author's stories distract from his main point, but his primary goal is one to be celebrated: "I have a strange compulsion to sit down between Christian culture and secular society, trying to help them understand each other-and ultimately, God-better through a shared experience of art." Two thumbs up! (Feb. 8) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830743155
  • Publisher: Gospel Light Publications
  • Publication date: 2/5/2007
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFFREY OVERSTREET calls upon a decade of experience as a film journalist for publications like Christianity Today, Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, Books and Culture, Paste Magazine, Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, The Other Journal and his popular website lookingcloser.org. He frequently lectures at Seattle Pacific University and Seattle-area churches; frequently reviews films on radio talk shows in Seattle and Wisconsin; and recently participated in a panel discussion on Christians and culture with writer Dick Staub, novelist Jeff Berryman and actor Grant Goodeve for CITA (Christians in the Theatre Arts). In September 2005, Jeffrey was featured as Image journal’s Artist of the Month. His film reviews were recently celebrated in a cover story in The Seattle Times’ Sunday magazine, Pacific Northwest. TIME Magazine quoted him in an article about the new surge of Christian engagement with film and popular culture. He is part of a select writers’ group called The Milton Center Fellowship and serves as director of an association of Christian film critics. This is his first book.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     9
Introduction     11
How We Watch
How a Camel Made a Grown Man Cry     16
The Story of the Weeping Camel
Dances with Wolves
Chariots of Fire, and more
Viewer Discretion Advised     41
Don't Come Knocking
A Feast of Movies     69
Babette's Feast
Wonders of Heaven and Earth     103
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Wings of Desire
Saving the World
Coming to the Rescue     136
The Empire Strikes Back
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Raiders of the Lost Ark
A Man for All Seasons
Gosford Park
A Personal History of Violence     164
Man on Fire
Unforgiven
The Least of These     181
Born into Brothels
The Motorcycle Diaries
Fools and Jokers
Suffering Fools Gladly     200
The Fisher King
Forrest Gump
Amadeus
Ordet
Laughing at My Reflection     218
Saved!
Art of Darkness
One Is the Loneliest Number     240
Taxi Driver
Punch-Drunk Love
Code Unknown
Making Darkness Visible     268
Alien
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Judgments of the Heart     284
Apocalypse Now
Titanic
Dead Poet's Society
Ikiru
Summoned by Music and Light
Pours Forth Speech     302
Three Colors: Blue
The New World
Chasing the Light     325
AdditionalResources     343
Recommended Titles for Film Discussion Groups     344
A Word from the Author About Post-viewing Discussions     349
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