Reading Letters and Blogs “Darkly”

Letters like this make my day. I hoped that the book would inspire people to meet together, watch great films, and discuss them. And it’s happening. I continue to hear from people who are discovering the book and starting their own discussion groups. Here’s one that came today:

… [M]y dad purchased your book for me and I read it over the summer while I was working as a counselor at a Christian camp. I cannot remember being so enamored of a book and eager to read since the first time I picked up and started the Tolkien books in middle school.

I am now back at school … and have started a small group with about seven close friends. I have never led a small group before, much less one in which I am attempting to incorporate reading out of the meeting time and discussion over the reading in our meeting time plus trying to watch at least one of your most discussed movies per chapter and discussing it as well. For our first meeting i handed out your book to all the group members and then we watched The Story of the Weeping Camel.

I just wanted to tell you all of this because your book has greatly influenced me and encouraged me as a Christian who really enjoys movies and (until recently) hated to feel like I had to condemn movies because of “bad” things in them.

Along similar lines, a blogger named Stephanie is exploring new territory “through a screen darkly” too….

We are reading [Through a Screen Darkly] AND watching a film a week to discuss on Sunday morning. This past week we watched a film called Don’t Come Knocking …. I was not real keen on watching this movie. I dislike heavy drama. It does not entertain me much. But I enjoyed the film much more than I would have thought especially after discussing it with Edward once it was over. And my estimation of the film grew even more after sharing thoughts with the class on Sunday morning. We all agreed that had we seen it in the movie theatre we would have soon forgotten it and probably not have recommended it to friends. But by the end of the hour of discussion we were all talking about seeing it again because it was so rich and deep. haha.

I must admit that the book, Through a Screen Darkly, would never had been my choice for the class either but Edward was enthusiastic at a time when I had no energy to suggest anything else. So I find myself reading a book I would never have picked up AND seeing movies I would not have choose to see either. So I guess this is where I admit that my life is richer for it and I am happy for the opportunity to step out of my little box. I know Edward is smirking as he reads this. (Quit it!)

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.