‘Blue Like Jazz’ the Movie & the Pangea Blog

I’m excited about this film.  Too many “Christian” movies warm the heart but do nothing to show us the faith of the real world.  The world we live in is a messy place and following Jesus takes us down a disorienting path.  Most Christian films, at least in my experience,  over-spiritualize these issues.

Enter Blue Like Jazz the movie.  Based on a book that has made a profound effect on many 20-30 somethings (well, more than that… my grandma read it last month!), I anticipate a movie that shows us just how raw faith actually is.  Raw, because the bible is raw.  Because the realities of the kingdom are raw.  Because God enters into the real world to engage us in our humanity.

With all of that said, I want to share the trailer with you…

For the time leading up to the release of this film, we are going to have opportunities to prepare ourselves to engage with it.  This will include a chance for you to send in questions about the movie for Don Miller and Steve Taylor which I may ask when I interview them during March.  I will also be pointing folks to resources and inviting your feedback after you watch the film.  Its going to be an exciting couple of months of significant spiritual conversation!

To start this process off: I would like to hear from anyone who read this book.  What about Blue Like Jazz (the book) made an impact on your spiritual journey?  What themes do you hope to see carry over into the movie?


In theaters April 13.
Official Site: http://www.bluelikejazzthemovie.com/
IMDB: http://imdb.com/title/tt1758575/
Director: Steve Taylor

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  • I read this a couple of years ago, and I think the main thing was exactly what is mentioned here: it is real. There are certain stories that stand out to me still, particularly the confession booth in the middle of the party since at the time I lived on a student street notorious for a similar street party. But that it was real was the overarching power of it. I couldn’t escape the feeling that Christianity was meaningful in my day to day interactions and there were simple Jesus-following “crazy” (in the eyes of the world) things that I could and should be doing. 

  • Anonymous

    I read it several years ago. It was entertaining but I can’t say it had any particular effect on my spiritual journey. I’d be interested to see this film.

  • I have the book, but have not yet read it. I’m excited to especially now their is a movie coming out about it.  @causertechnology I think that’s what Christianity needs: realness.  Somehow it has been glorified above reality, but that’s not life.   If that’s how the book is I would hope the movie carries the same weight in authentic, real and raw living.

  • Chris Wooden

    Read the book years back…At the time of reading it I felt it was “profound.” But, alas, it was only profound because it was the first time I thought “outside the box” in terms of what it meant to be a christian in modern America. 

    Unfortunately, I re-read the book a few years back and found it nearly void of anything substantial. I think this book is perfect for kids from conservative, don’t-ask-questions, it’s-always-been-this-way types of backgrounds  who are fresh into college. But at this stage in my own life, it feels cliche already. It’s like a pep-rally cheer in written form for the person who’s at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to questioning…”Good job, you’re starting to ask the right questions!” 

    Certainly not a book I would DISCOURAGE anyone from reading, but definitely not one I would point anyone to in terms of  profundity to the modern Christian perspective. It was revolutionary only in that it was one of the first ‘postmodern/emerging church” books to take off in terms of popularity. It’s an easy read that makes you feel good about questioning, and there’s nothing wrong with that…

    I guess my REAL problem with the book is that it was, for all purposes, written to take us out of our comfort levels when it comes to these things…but I felt completely comfortable reading it and without guilt in the end. I’d rather read the book that will leave me with strong convictions and, for lack of a better term- guilt for not doing enough.

    I feel most people who were radically changed by this book (probably the term a lot of readers would use) are complacent now. There was no sense of timelessness to this book- it was most relevant in the first few years of publication. 

    Nonetheless, I am intrigued by the movie and any flick that will take christian spiritual perspectives in film away from consumer-christian garbage like the Left Behind series is alright in my book.

  • I read it and enjoyed it in a fairly lightweight way.  I thought the story of the confessional was a profound exercise and one worth contemplating…and maybe replicating…somewhere else.  But my overarching sense when I finished whole thing was that it seemed rather an exercise in spiritual narcissism, with the important exception of that confession-booth experiment.

    I’ve already given it away so I can’t go back and double-check my memories of it, however.

  • Anonymous

    I have the book on the shelf, started it a while back, but never got very far. I got distracted by some other reading and have been meaning to come back to it.  The movie clip looks fantastic! It definitely motivates me to get it off the shelf to read before seeing the movie!

  • I really good forward to the movie. I did read the book (and, by the way, have sold hundreds of copies myself!).

    One particular part of the book that stood out for me was the confession booth… confessing the sins of Christianity, who would have thought?

  • Angsty Carrot

    I recommended BLJ for years even though Miller stole my thoughts and sucked the freshness out of all my funnest conversations.

    All I was trying to contemplate privately was suddenly interesting to normal Christians and culturally relevant. Me: “You know, God is too mysterious to be boxed in by our assumptions–“Others: “Wow…wait, did you steal that from Don Miller?”I was doing fine working these things out in obscurity, thank you. But now this book (from Thomas Nelson, no less) had made spiritual dissatisfaction cool, referencing Ethan Hawke and Ani DiFranco, C.S. Lewis and Chesterton and The Catcher in the Rye, even stealing my old prof at Westmont, and my chapter on penguin sex, which maybe I hadn’t thought of specifically, but I probably would have if every conversation hadn’t been commandeered by the super-hip purple book with the nonsense title. Of course, now I’ll never know. So yeah, BLJ, thanks a heap. I’ll probably love the movie. Right after I get done hating it.

  • Kelsi

    I enjoyed the harsh reality that Miller displayed Christianity to be. He didn’t sugar coat anything, he was very honest about his thoughts on Christians, himself, and the church and his relationships with those who don’t have relationships with Jesus. It was very refreshing to read a book that didn’t hold anything back, especially when dealing with touchy subjects like the differences between going to church and being a follower of Jesus.

  • I think the biggest thing that Don’s books do for me is let me know it’s OK to remain unresolved. Things don’t always have to line up. The important thing is we keep going, and keep trying.

  • I love the realness of the book. It is not your typical faith book. It does not tell you just to pray about things and you will live happily ever after. I am excited for a movie that depicts the realness of life and how a Christian walk fits into that. 

  • Kinzel Jason

    At Youth Specialties this year, Steve Taylor did a showing of the movie (not completely done, but pretty much). They did a great job, to be honest, better than I thought they would. Don’t want to give anything away, but I was impressed by the entire film.

  • Mary Anne

    I read the book several years ago.  I remember a few thoughts about the book and Donald Miller: 
    – the confessional scene – confessing the sins of Christianity (that was powerful!)
    – talking to a Reed College student who grew up in a Christian home and was leaving the Christian faith behind – she felt the book left her empty – I was surprised
    – remembering that the book was written from the perspective of a young person, thus as a 40-something-year-old, I needed to listen
    – Donald’s narrative theology resonates with me

  • Mike Ward

    I had never heard of this book or this film, but after this post I did read the first 6 pages available for preview on Amazon. It did not interest me so I probably won’t be picking it up nor seeing the movie, but thanks for the post. It’s always good to try new things.

  • Rob Canavan

    The Movie Trailer looks amazing! The Book was great and I look Fwd to the Movie!


  • I’m looking forward to this movie!

  • Love this book. Read it years ago, but it didn’t initially click until I watched “Lord Save Us From Your Followers” and they interviewed Tony the Beatnick Poet and did their own confessional scene…from that moment on I’ve re-read the book probably every 6 months or so…SO excited for this movie.

  • Amjoy

    I loved the book and I was excited when I got to see a pre-screening of the film.  It was even better than I’d expected and I had fairly high expectations as a book lover.  I was moved by the theme of god’s grace and persistence is pursuing us.  I also liked how honest the movie felt, it was honest in a similar way to blue like jazz the book, although we don’t get to follow don as far in his journey in the movie.