Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blue Like Jazz

Yesterday, my movie was Blue Like Jazz, a college comedy set in Portland, Oregon.

The movie follows a young Christian man named Don as he prepares to transfer to a full-term university from community college. He plans to attend a Christian college near his Texas home. His world is sent into a tailspin when he discovers that his mother is carrying on an illicit relationship with the youth pastor of his church, and he just wants to get as far away as possible. Thanks to a convenient plot point of an über-liberal and atheist father, he is able to make the last-minute decision to attend Reed College, instead. There, he discovers his religious beliefs make him a bit of a pariah on-campus. He hides his beliefs and instead opts to do all the weird things that people in Portland do, like ride tall bikes. He gets pretty close to renouncing his beliefs, especially as his view of his former life shatters furthers. He realizes, though, that a fellow student, a girl he (of course!) has crush on, is a practicing Christian, as well, which causes him to reconsider his beliefs. Then at the end, he is named the pope of Reed College and starts taking confessions from his classmates (yeah, it's a weird movie).

The movie was a Kickstarter success story, earning more than $300,000 on the site and having even more donated, which allowed the movie to be made. Good thing, too, it's a pretty good film. In some ways, I identified with Don, though his journey was a lot shorter than mine has been so far and was triggered by an event rather simple growing doubt. I did have a bit of an issue with the pace. The atheist dad living with a trailer with Reed connections and who just happened to have gotten his son admission just in case was a little too convenient. There were also a few random scenes with little reason for existing, like when a bear stole Don's tall bike. All in all, though, it was a good film and didn't seem to fall too much on either being really cynical about religion or too forgiving of it.

Mini soundtrack:

Menomena - "Taos"

John Coltrane - "A Love Supreme, Part 1: Acknowledgement"

Menomena - "E Is Stable"

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