Steve Taylor Presents a Christmas Playlist

If I have anything resembling a "mission" here at this blog, it began to take shape when I was a teenager whose world was comprised of a Conservative Baptist church, a "Christian" school, "Christian" music, "Christian" fiction, "Christian" textbooks, and "Christian" visual art — an overwhelmingly Protestant Evangelical culture.I remain grateful for most of the gifts and rewards of those experiences. But I am still struggling with the lingering influence of certain delusions that were p … [Read more...]

Blu-ray Like Jazz?

Steve Taylor's movie Blue Like Jazz is out on blu-ray and DVD today.So I might as well link to one of the most comment-inspiring reviews I've ever written. I was surprised by how strongly people felt about this film, cheering for it or tearing it down, after my review went up at Filmwell.Those comments helped me draw up questions for my interview with Taylor, which was published later at Seattle Pacific University's Response. In that interview, Taylor explains what was happening when … [Read more...]

Blue Like Jazz (2012): A Conversation with Steve Taylor

My review of Blue Like Jazz was published at several days ago.But that was just the warm-up.My conversation with director Steve Taylor has just been published on the website of Seattle Pacific University's Response magazine. Enjoy.We talked about the movie, how the good people at Reed College responded to it, and more. Steve opened up about his feelings on The Hunger Games, The Tree of Life, and his upcoming rock album. … [Read more...]

Should we stomp Blue Like Jazz because it isn’t some kind of timeless, poetic masterpiece?

It's been interesting, perusing the reviews and comments provoked by Steve Taylor's movie Blue Like Jazz. … [Read more...]

Taylor-Made: Why You’re Missing Out If You Don’t Go See Blue Like Jazz

Of all the movies playing in theaters this weekend, I encourage you to choose Blue Like Jazz.Why? … [Read more...]

My Conversation with Steve Taylor, and Other Bonus Materials

In October, I interviewed one of my heroes, rock star and filmmaker Steve Taylor about the experience of making his first feature film, The Second Chance.And then I wrote the interview into my book.And then the book got too long, and I had to cut several chapters.Sadly, the interview was one of the pieces that had to go, and that was one of the cuts that hurt the most. But I am now offering it as part of the book's bonus material. ... … [Read more...]

Adam Walter on that Steve Taylor/Michael W. Smith movie

Adam Walter has seen The Second Chance, that film directed by Steve Taylor that stars Michael W. Smith. Sure it has some problems. For one thing, it’s only going to appeal to church people--and yet, it’s possibly the first movie that has come out of the Christian film industry that I’d even recommend to Christians. It has its moments of heavy sentiment and slightly-contrived dramatic tension. But it also has an impressively well-paced, fluid narrative, and there’s one honestly-moving, tear-je … [Read more...]

"The Second Chance" – a film by Steve Taylor

Taylor is "framing" the Church. And that's a good thing.After Steve Taylor gave the first-ever public screening of his movie The Second Chance to a small audience at the Biola Media Conference last weekend, he took questions, praise, and criticism from the crowd. I was there, and I'm so glad I was.It was a rough cut, with a "Soundtrack by The iPod" (clever) that served as temp tracking, and it still needs some editing finesse, color correction, and some tough final decisions on certain … [Read more...]

Biola Day One

After I made the acquaintance of Greg Stump (I love meeting Looking Closer readers... it usually ends up with me becoming a big fan of them instead of the other way around), and we had a hearty breakfast, I took to strolling the sidewalks at Biola under a cloudy grey sky.The very first person I saw on campus was Craig Detweiler. He was engrossed in a conversation with some other faculty at a table, but his was the only face I could see. Good. Important contact #1 on campus! Detweiler's books … [Read more...]

Overheard, while thinking of Terry Shiavo

While eating some Zeek's pizza and reading the local paper's coverage of the Terry Shiavo dilemma today, I suddenly realized what the lyrics playing on the radio were saying: No life's worth more than any other No sister worth less than any brother...somebody please send us a prayer!It's crazy, crazy We're breathing in the same air It's crazy, crazy, crazy Don't tell me that you don't care.... Well, no life's worth more than any other, unless you're on a feeding tube, apparently. … [Read more...]