Friday, May 4, 2012
Blue Like Jazz, Officially in No-Man’s Land
The obvious question is: What went wrong? Considering the movie was adopted from a well-known and respected book by Donald Miller, you would think the film would at least be somewhat successful. After a robust on-line campaign and Kickstarter initiative, the producers of Blue Like Jazz raised the necessary funds to make the movie a reality. All the signs pointed to a successful endeavor.
At the same time, movie critics weren’t buying Steve Taylor’s message that his film was not a Christian film. In one case, one critic went as far as to state “Make no doubt about it. The uncredited executive producer of the film is Jesus Christ.”
We can probably have a discussion all night as to whether Blue Like Jazz is a Christian movie. But the truth is it’s a different kind of faith-based film. Blue Like Jazz, unlike other traditional Christian movies, is good at asking questions about the important issues in life. It doesn’t offer any easy answers. It’s a film that explores our doubts about faith. It’s also not afraid to point out the hypocrisies that take place in the church. This type of material obviously makes many Christians uneasy.
The producers of Courageous know who their audience is, where their audience is, and how to reach them. They built a road that every Christian filmmaker now has access to. It used to be the hard part in filmmaking was coming up with a great script, funding, a solid cast and crew and, of course, a distributor. But now, the distributor expects you to do all the hard work of finding your audience.
Blue Like Jazz is a solid movie. That’s the sad part in this whole story. It deserved a much bigger audience. But until a road is build and the audience is identified, we can expect the same fate for similar movies in the future.