These are the confessions of Christian moviegoer, Jeffrey Overstreet, film enthusiast and movie reviewer. He'll show you characters, different worldviews and different experiences that offer pieces of a larger truth, including movies like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Wings of Desire, and even the X-Men series. What makes some of these films timeless rather than merely popular has everything to do with the way the producers of these films-whether they know it or not-have captured reflections of God in their work. Overstreet also includes a collection of recommendations for movie discussion groups, links to updated movie resources for moviegoers and meditations on how different films echo the ways in which Christ captured the attention and imagination of culture.
In the style of a cinematic travel journal, film columnist and critic Jeffrey Overstreet of Christianity Today and lookingcloser.org leads readers down paths less traveled to explore some of the best films youve never seen. Examining a feast of movies, from blockbusters to buried treasure, Overstreet peels back the layers of work by popular entertainers and under-appreciated masters. He shares excerpts from conversations with filmmakers like Peter Jackson, Wim Wenders, Kevin Smith, Scott Derrickson, producer Ralph Winter, and stars like Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Keanu Reeves and the cast of Serenity, drawing "war-stories" from his encounters with movie stars, moviemakers, moviegoers and other critics in both mainstream and religious circles. He argues that what makes some films timeless rather than merely popular has everything to do with the way these artistswhether they know it or nothave captured reflections of God in their work. Through a Screen Darkly also includes a collection of reviews, humorous anecdotes and on-the-scene film festival reports, as well as recommendations for movie discussion groups and meditations on how different films echo the myriad ways in which Christ captured the attention and imagination of culture.
JEFFREY OVERSTREET calls upon a decade of experience as a film journalist for publications like Christianity Today, Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, Books and Culture, Paste Magazine, Seattle Pacific Universitys Response magazine, The Other Journal and his popular website lookingcloser.org. He frequently lectures at Seattle Pacific University and Seattle-area churches; frequently reviews films on radio talk shows in Seattle and Wisconsin; and recently participated in a panel discussion on Christians and culture with writer Dick Staub, novelist Jeff Berryman and actor Grant Goodeve for CITA (Christians in the Theatre Arts). In September 2005, Jeffrey was featured as Image journals Artist of the Month. His film reviews were recently celebrated in a cover story in The Seattle Times Sunday magazine, Pacific Northwest. TIME Magazine quoted him in an article about the new surge of Christian engagement with film and popular culture. He is part of a select writers group called The Milton Center Fellowship and serves as director of an association of Christian film critics. This is his first book.
"Jeffrey Overstreet is a witness. While habituating the dark caves of movie theaters he gives articulate witness to what I too often miss in those cavesthe contours of God's creation and the language of Christ's salvation. In these theaters, assumed by many to be unholy temples in a wasteland of secularism, he writes what he sees and hears. I find him a delightful and most percipient companion. A faithful Christian witness."
Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College; author Eat This Book and Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places