Sunday, April 15, 2012
Blue Like Jazz - The Movie
A highlight of my weekend was sneaking away Friday night to go to the late night showing of the movie Blue Like Jazz. Admittedly, one of the reasons I made sure to see it in the theater was because there is something about seeing your own name on the big screen. Yes, that's correct. If you watch closely during the credits you can see my name scrolling through on the right side of the screen. It's not because I was in the movie or helped with sound editing, but because I had the privilege of helping to fund this project when it wasn't going to get made at all. You can see the full story of how Blue Like Jazz came to be funded here so I won't spend time on the details here (although it is pretty amazing).
The movie Blue Like Jazz is based on a book by the same name written by Donald Miller. The movie is autobiographical and follows Don (played by Marshall Allman, who most recently appeared as Tommy in my favorite TV show True Blood) through his first year at college. Don, who was raised Baptist in Texas winds up attending Reed College, a progressive and essentially anti-religious school in Portland, Oregon. I hadn't read Blue Like Jazz prior to jumping in and funding the project and in fact I still haven't finished reading it. However, I was moved enough by Miller's book A Million Miles in A Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story that I didn't hesitate to support the push to make one of his books into a major motion picture.
From the very beginning of the movie I knew I had made the right decision. By the time it hit the robot civil disobedience scene I was positively giddy. I couldn't stop laughing when the bear stole Don's tallbike, threw it off a bridge, and then gave him the finger. At every turn, there was something that I thought was absolutely wonderful. The movie was the complete package and it nourished my very tired, very dry soul in a powerful way. By the end, my eyes were misty, and I was reminded of all the deep connections I have come to know between my faith and the world around me. Sometimes we find the very thing that we needed at the very time we needed it. It's one of the ways I see God at work and for those moments I am very thankful.
I'm anxious to go again. I feel like there is so much more to soak in so I'm hoping for an opportunity to join some friends and family at the theater again very soon. Plus, I certainly won't complain about getting to see my name up there one more time. It was a lot of fun and a reminder that sometimes I should just follow my gut and jump in.