Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Contest: Blue Like Jazz

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled to give away a copy of one of my favorite films of the year, Blue Like Jazz.  Director Steve Taylor raised the money for the film $10 at a time on Kickstarter.  Fans of the inspirational book by Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, were eager to provide backing for a movie version of Miller’s story of his journey from a very strict fundamentalist upbringing to his studies at one of the most free-thinking schools in the world, Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Taylor told me about adapting a book of essays on spirituality into a movie:

I read it six years ago over Christmas and it’s not the sort of book you put down and say, “I see this movie in my head!”  But it struck me as, this would make a great movie, particularly that part about that guy growing up as a suburban youth as a Southern Baptist, really conservative culture, and then ending up at Reed College.  It would be hard to imagine a more opposite place. So I showed up for a reading, and they had a line wrapped around the block, and afterwards I pitched him the idea and from the beginning, told him, “Look, I think this’ll make a great movie, but I would love to end it with the confessional scene which is a really powerful scene in the book.  The big change I’d like to propose is that in the book, he’s a thirty-year old writer who lives off campus and audits classes. I just think a more interesting movie story would be if you were a college student.” You know, usually authors understandably are very protective about their work and what they’ve written, and particularly if it’s memoir-ish, but he just immediately sparked to that.  I think he would tell you it’s because he’s seen too many books, memoirs in particular, turned into movies where they tried to stick exactly to the book and it made for a bad movie.  He recognized that it’s a different craft, and that the goal is to keep the truth but to make a compelling movie story.

The movie achieves that goal.  To enter the contest, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Blue” in the subject line and tell me a book you like about spirituality or inspiration.  Don’t forget your address!  (US addresses only.)  I’ll pick a winner on September 9.  Good luck!



  • http://www.touristinthecity.com Andrew C

    I’m glad to hear about this film, which had slipped by me. It’s a rare movie that dives into the grappling, grasping and wrestling that’s involved in the search for a truth, one that’s connected to a Knowing of god. I’m discovering movies from the ’50s that dealt with this openly, like Robert Bresson’s “Diary of a Country Priest.”

    • Nell Minow

      Beautifully said, Andrew C. I hope you let me know what you think of the film, which respects the struggle and those who are struggling in a way I found refreshing.

  • Pingback: Contest: Blue Like Jazz « Christian Media Monitor

Previous Posts

Uptown Funk from A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School and Teacher Scot Pankey
High school teacher Scot Pankey brings the funk to the entire school in this joyous dubstep video. I love its spirit and its inclusiveness; everyone is just there to have fun. It has become a viral sensation, tweeted by Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, and the guy who sings "Uptown Funk," Bruno Mars.

posted 9:36:59am Feb. 01, 2015 | read full post »

New Web Series: That's Racist! with Mike Epps
I'm a big fan of Mike Epps, and am excited about "That's Racist!," his new web series on AOL. It is a provocative look at racism and stereotypes. Are Asians bad drivers? Are Jews cheap? Do African-Americans all like fried chicken? These and other stereotypes are explored by experts and people ins

posted 8:00:40am Feb. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014.  But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a major directing award. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted 3:38:46pm Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.