Here Comes Good Letters Post #88. What Movie Should I Choose?

I’m about to write my 88th post for the Good Letters blog, the daily blog hosted by the prestigious IMAGE, a journal of the arts and religion.

It’s such an honor to contribute to that beautiful, one-of-a-kind blog. Such a colorful, talented, insightful family of bloggers contribute there, often providing the best thing I’ll read that day. (Take today, for example, when one of my favorite bloggers, Allison Backous Troy, wrote a heartfelt reflection on Pixar’s Brave.) I can’t believe they haven’t told me that I’ve filled my quota and it’s time to move on.

Every two weeks, I face hard decision: Which movie have I seen recently that I should spend 5-10 hours writing about, in order to come up with 1,000 words worth reading?

Which movie offers that much to consider?

Which movie can I write about with passion? Which one is most meaningful to me? Which one relates to my life in such a way that I cannot merely review it?

This time around, I’m pondering these six titles…

1. The Loneliest Planet, a new film that most readers haven’t seen but that enthralled me for all 113 harrowing minutes.

2. Argo, a popular new release that I’ve already reviewed, but that raises a lot of questions about movies that are “based on true events,” and that might tell us a lot about the differences between “true stories” and “stories we want to hear”.

3. Abigail Harm, an undistributed, experimental new film by Lee Isaac Chung (Munyurangabo) that most moviegoers will never see, but that marks another step forward in the career of a filmmaker I find increasingly fascinating.

4. A River Runs Through It. Wow, is it really 20 years old? Time to revisit it!

5. Fellini’s 8 1/2, which stands at #10 on the new Sight & Sound All Time Top 10, and which I have finally given my full attention, thanks to the Criterion Collection blu-ray.

6. Or 42 Up, a documentary by Michael Apted, which has been around for a while, but which would be interesting since it tracks the life stories of several 42 year-olds, and, well… I just celebrated that very birthday.

What a tough choice. I don’t have much time this week to write. Any one of these would be a challenge.

Thoughts, anyone? Which option would be most interesting to you? Your response might influence my decision. (Then again, I might have some kind of epiphany in the next ten minutes and get right to work. We’ll see. The spirit moves in mysterious ways.)

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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.

  • Louise Ford

    It would be most relevant to write about The Loneliest Planet, since it’s about to open in NYC.


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