About Jeffrey Overstreet

Don't you hate these ugly click-bait ads? Visit LookingCloser.org for a bigger, better, ad-free version of Jeffrey Overstreet's blog. Jeffrey Overstreet is the senior film critic for Christianity Today, the author of Through a Screen Darkly and Auralia's Colors, and he teaches writing and film at Seattle Pacific University, Houston Baptist University, and Northwest University.

This Is Not Goodbye. But It is… See You Elsewhere!

Attention, Looking Closer readers: This blog is moving.Three years ago, almost to the day — July 1, 2012 — I crossed the great Internet Sea carrying many years of Looking Closer blog content in my cargo hold, and I docked long-term here at the Patheos network. Today, I am pulling up the anchor and setting sail again for a new location.If you don't want to fall overboard, jot these two addresses down and we'll all arrive safely at our next destination: LookingCloser.org and Jef … [Read more...]

Inside Out (2015)

Take a deep dive into your own head. Do an archaeological dig. Work your way all the way to the center. What do you find?Core memories. Foundational impressions. The moments that made you.Me? Mine are almost all related to creativity:- Reading books — fairy tales and fantasy, mostly.- Writing and illustrating my own fantasy stories with crayons, and then learning how to type out the words with my index finger on a typewriter.- Drawing pictures on church bulletins during c … [Read more...]

Mourn With Those Who Mourn

In memory of Clementa Carlos Pinckney (1973-2015), Democrat, South Carolina Senate; senior pastor of Mother Emanuel A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal] Church; martyred with eight of his congregation while they studied scriptures and prayed together in the church. … [Read more...]

What Specialists Are Saying About Jurassic World

Gathering in a bunker deep underground where velociraptors cannot find them, the Looking Closer Specialists are talking about Jurassic World.The Specialists are a community of friends who are supporting my efforts on this blog. They have a private Facebook group, they get to see some of this blog's posts before everybody else, they're acknowledged in the Credits, and they are invited to participate in occasional posts like this one. (Sound like fun? Here's how to join them.)Since I h … [Read more...]

Torres and the Influence of David Bazan and Terrence Malick

It’s June again: The end of another academic year. We’ve come to Graduation Weekend, and I’m driving to a special ceremony, where this year’s crop of honors society students — the Seattle Pacific University Scholars (or “UScholars”) — will gather with families and friends to celebrate their achievement.And on the way, my car doors are pulsing to the beats of an album that has its hooks in me: Sprinter by Torres. … [Read more...]

Bracing for Jurassic World: My Personal History with the Raptors

Just like every other moviegoer on the planet, I had a blast attending the theatrical opening of Jurassic Park in 1993. I remember laughing for joy at the blissful terror of the T-Rex's entrance, and laughing even harder when I saw my friends Eric and Matt crawling under their seats.But I was having fun in spite of the movie's screenplay, which felt cheap and sentimental even for Spielberg at the time. I thought then — and I still think — that it's B-grade Spielberg.This weekend, I went d … [Read more...]

A New Conversation with Pete Horner, Sound Designer for Jurassic World

My friend Pete Horner was the sound designer/sound mixer for Jurassic World... not to mention his extraordinary back catalog of work, like the Redux version of Apocalypse Now. … [Read more...]

Halfway Through 2015: What’s Your Favorite Music So Far?

So far, 2015 has been an impressive non-stop parade of great albums. I could easily turn in a Top 10 of the year today if I was asked. But we're only halfway there.Dr. Jeff Keuss of Seattle Pacific University hosted this live podcast discussion of some of 2015's most exciting music. We listened to stuff by Kendrick Lamar, Kacey Musgraves, Ibeyi, Sleater-Kinney, and much more, and talked it over. Then, we answered some great questions from diners in our live audience.Panel guests i … [Read more...]

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

[This review has already been read by the Looking Closer Specialists, whose helpful responses persuaded me to see the movie a second time before publishing it. Thanks, Specialists! Read about how you can join the club that gets first-looks and access to a private Looking Closer Facebook group here.]•I am looking at the back of a man who stands on a sandy precipice beside his souped up sports car, and I have just enough time to think three things:1) Wow, the colors of this p … [Read more...]

Moments of Violence, Then — A Year of Grace and Love

[Posted yesterday, June 5, 2015, on my Facebook page.]One year ago today, my friends and colleagues at Seattle Pacific University responded to gunshots with courage, selflessness, faith, generosity, and grace. One act of violence inspired countless shows of love, compassion, and mercy that are continuing.Certain people in the media keep clamoring for access to video footage of the violent acts, because that is what they want the world to see, no matter how much that would hurt our … [Read more...]