Widespread Support and Praise Usher In BLUE LIKE JAZZ as Compelling Film's April 13 Release Draws Near
Pastors, Critics, Christian Leaders, Celebrities and More Rally Around Controversial Film
NASHVILLE, TN...March 26, 2012... As the Blue Like Jazz bus tour treks across the country with its director Steve Taylor, author Donald Miller, and star Marshall Allman in tow, widespread support and praise for the film is burgeoning amongst a diverse crowd. College students, pastors, celebrities, nuns, and critics are all responding to the film with laughter, celebration and high praise.
"I wasn't expecting this level of enthusiasm — long queues of early-arriving fans, packed theaters, lots of hugs and hi-fives afterwards," comments Taylor about the response the film has received at screenings from coast to coast. "Viewers consistently tell us this is a breakthrough movie, and unlike anything they've seen or expected."
Here's just a small sampling of what people are saying after viewing the film:
"When I first saw this movie, my hope was that every parent of a graduating senior and college freshman would see this with their child and that they would discuss it afterwards. This could make a huge difference in helping these students transition, and parents understand, the things their kids are struggling with. It would be great for those of us mentoring these students to see it and dialogue with them as well." - Mike Gaffney, VP Young Life College
"In a culture that perpetually castigates faith and organized religion, Blue Like Jazz gives us a new, refreshingly honest perspective. This is an intelligent tale of love, pain, forgiveness and redemption that is buoyant and full of hope."
-Darren Whitehead, Teaching Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, Chicago, IL
"Powerful!" - Paste magazine, which also called Blue Like Jazz " one of the 30 most anticipated films of 2012"
"Blue Like Jazz, a provocative and realistic look at Christianity….an exceptional movie with moments of dialogue worthy of Aaron Sorkin” - Westword, Denver, CO
"Blue Like Jazz changed a lot of things for me. It gave me permission to be honest and caused me to believe that my story and the characters inside it were not small things. We often say that To Write Love on Her Arms is an attempt at an honest conversation. It began with a story and I don't think it would exist if not for Blue Like Jazz." - Jamie Tworkowski, To Write Love On Her Arms
"The filmmakers have done a masterful job bringing a modern Christian classic to the big screen, and Marshall Allman establishes himself as a rising star." -Mark Moring, Pop Culture Editor, Christianity Today
"I really loved the movie! It's definitely not 'safe for the whole family' and has some "real world" situations missing from other Christian themed films. There were several things in it that might be offensive for some believers to see. But that can be good sometimes...to challenge us and to help us to ask questions about our faith, where we stand in our relationship with God, and what we truly believe. Great story!" -Mac Powell, Third Day
"Because Blue Like Jazz is a movie about Christian spirituality and specically the person and work of Jesus, EVERYONE should see this movie with someone, or many someones, to kickstart a conversation about Jesus."
- Pastor Kim Skattum, Crossroads Baptist Church, Denver
“Each week, the real life struggles heard on my show challenge your thoughts on life and faith. Blue Like Jazz will challenge you in the same way! This film moved me. I truly enjoyed it.” - Dawson McAllister, host of the nationally syndicated radio show Dawson McAllister Live
"...this is the first truly honest college/campus/coming-of-age film that doesn’t pretend young people are NOT talking about God and religion!" - Sr. Helena Burns, media nun
"In total, the story works — and not just because the characters are believable, the music is great, and the message is sincere and relevant. People feel strongly about Miller and his story, and they will have strong feelings about his movie. Feel about it how you will. It’s a story that needed to be told." - Christian Piatt, Sojourners.com, HuffingtonPost.com
….the movie successfully explores themes of forgiveness, authenticity, and the question of God’s existence…. the effective storytelling aspects of Miller’s book create a well-structured narrative. Quality cinematography and a complementary soundtrack make the film fun to watch. - WORLD magazine
"Just as Donald Miller's bestselling 2003 memoir sought to redefine Christianity for a hipper, looser generation of believers, so this likably low-key adaptation of "Blue Like Jazz" tries to deviate from the earnest, preachy norms of so much faith-based cinema….the film also abstains from any overt message-mongering; if it has a lesson to impart, it's that spiritual transformation begins from a place of inward-looking humility, of owning one's own shortcomings before decrying anyone else's." - Variety
"This movie stands on its own. It's quite funny, touching, realistic, and diverse in that you WILL find at least one scene or catchy line that will forever resonate with you. The acting was so perfect with great casting... The book that changed lives for the better will now be a movie that changes even more lives." IMDb Author: craigoh-324-907841 from Texas
"Just like the Scriptures address mature themes insightfully for mature audiences, so will believers who participate in culture-making actions, when addressing mature themes. That's what's happening in Blue Like Jazz. Its not shocking at all as just another movie. But when put on screen by such Christian culture icons as Steve Taylor and The Don, I found it arresting and something I had to deal with. Above all, this is truly a work of art through which people who happen to be believers have chosen the medium of film in order to explore ideas of beauty, truth and wonder in a unique and effective way." - Dr. Mike Moses, founder and lead pastor of Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, NC.
Following the film's Official Selection to premiere at the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, top media outlets are starting to showcase the film and tell of its road to the big screen, including CNN, USATODAY, the Huffington Post and Religion News Service.
"Spending thirty days on the road showing this movie helped me believe my faith experience is anything but unique," says Miller. "My guess is there are millions of us. I think this film will create a large community of people who can finally admit they live in the space between faith and doubt, the church and the world, and religion and a relationship with God."
Presented by Roadside Attractions, Blue Like Jazz opens in select markets across the country on April 13. For more information on the film, please click here.
Velvet Kelm or Jess Draper
the media collective
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE