Viewer Discussion Advised! 12 Steps to More Rewarding Moviegoing

Well, the secret is out.

I’ve been hosting a secret church-basement movie club. It’s controversial. It’s lively. It’s unpredictable. It’s populated by a wide range of people, from film students to casual moviegoers to people who are extremely suspicious about movies. And…

…it’s fictional.

InTouch Magazine invited me to share some tips — specifically, tips for Christian moviegoers — that would help readers get more out of their moviegoing experience. I wrote something as if I was giving an address to moviegoer gathering called “Sight Club,” and they published it with this introduction:

With summer blockbusters showing up in theaters, we asked film critic Jeffrey Overstreet for tips on how to have a better experience at the cinema. He delivered the following opening address for the first 2014 meeting of Sight Club — a fictional church-basement movie club in Seattle. You are welcome to start your own Sight Club, and to use these recommendations as a guide.

I hope you find these 12 steps helpful in your own moviegoing. If this article just scratches the surface and you want to dig deeper, well, it’s your lucky day. The article serves as a sort of preview for my “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly.

Share this with your family and friends. Make a copy for your pastor. And start your own church-basement movie club! But be sneaky about it. The first rule of Sight Club is this: Don’t talk about Sight Club. 

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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.