Looking Closer Breaks New Ground in September

Looking Closer Breaks New Ground in September August 11, 2008

In September, I’m rearranging my weekly schedule to find a better balance.

Friends have begun to point out that I’m wearing myself out. If I keep up this pace of office work, review writing, and book writing, I’m headed for serious trouble with my health and my spirit. I need more rest, more exercise, more time at home, more time with Anne. And I need some space to breathe, read, and soak up some inspiration.

I also want to devote more time and attention to The Auralia Thread, so I have no regrets about the stories I deliver.

Now… I told you I had some big news coming, and here it is:

I’m cutting back on the frequency of my film reviews for Christianity Today, in order to write a new monthly column for them: Through a Screen Darkly. (How’s that for a snappy title?)

The column will give me an opportunity to meander about Movieland, contemplating trends in contemporary cinema, challenging readers to revisit films that deserve a second look, and sharing those movies I’ve discovered that should not slip past your radar.

At the same time, I’m also going to be contributing two articles monthly to the website for Image journal.

This is a real thrill for me. Image is an extraordinary journal, bringing together many of my favorite writers to explore matters of faith and art. To get an idea of Image’s ideals, content, and reach, watch this new video.

The Image blog is called Good Letters, and it features a family of talented, thoughtful writers. I’m honored to join their prestigious company, and to bring my thoughts on cinema to a new audience. For Image, I’ll be taking a look at films old and new, films that demand post-viewing conversation. If all goes according to plan, each letter will conclude with a warning: Viewer Discussion Advised.

Believe it or not, this change is *good* for my schedule. It will mean I have more time to compose my thoughts for you, and not so much of the panic and haste involved in attending press screenings and turning in reviews within a 48-hour period. Plus, this arrangement will allow me to focus on films I know to be rich and worthwhile, and take a break from reviewing films that frustrate me.

(I can’t believe I invested so many hours in reviews of The X-Files: I Want to Believe and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Reviews that encourage people to avoid such stuff are essential, but blechhh. I did not enjoy the process much. If I only have a little bit of time each week to write about film, I’d rather encourage people to see great art than add another review to the hundreds that say “The Happening just ain’t happening.”)

So… it’s going to be an exciting new year. Hopefully, one that’s healthier and more enjoyable.

I hope you’ll come along with me for both of these new endeavors. Let’s see what happens.

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  • joelpk

    Sounds good, Jeffrey. Seems like a choice for better mental health in the long run.
    Good to see your pics from the Glen.
    Erin and I watched the Image video, partly out of curiosity…and sure enough, there I am, in the songwriting class at the ’06 Glen. Silver screen, here I come!

  • Wonderful, wonderful! Simplicity is a wonderful discipline. Thanks for taking some hard looks at yourself.

  • sjdeal


    My schedule got a little too packed a few months ago, I know how you feel, it really can do a number on you.


  • Hurrah! Congrats!

  • blbartlett

    Good for you, Jeff. We’re excited for your “Through A Screen Darkly” commentary. Just think; a few years of doing that, and you might qualify to write for Christ and Pop Culture! Your future is looking bright.

    Thanks for your work.


  • clrussell

    How exciting!! Congratulations!! Great news all around. :-)

    And Kudos to you for realizing and implementing lifestyle changes now, while decisions are still under your control, instead of later, when circumstances force those decisions for you. Proactive outranks reactive any day. :-)

    I look forward to reading your new endeavors. :-)

  • Congratulations and best wishes on the change of pace and new projects! I’m excited to see what comes of them, and I’ll definitely be reading along.