Greg Wright recently noted Through a Screen Darkly in a commentary at Past the Popcorn.
Context is everything. And no movie—no single tale in Scripture, even—can possibly tell the whole story of God’s redemptive plan. Even Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, that R-rated Christian audience-pleaser, only manages to tell a portion of Jesus’ story. The best that we can hope, especially of human story-telling, is that one fragment of the Gospel — a vision of man’s brokenness, perhaps, or a parable-like illustration of love or forgiveness—comes through loud and clear, leaving the audience hungry for more. A movie can, on occasion, be an opportunity for a modern-day Philip to answer the question, “Can you explain this to me?”
In his new book, Through A Screen Darkly, Christian film critic Jeffrey Overstreet explains in terms that might be a little more accessible.
“Sticky seat cushions, talkative teens, annoying big screen commercials—it’s all worth enduring for those occasional moments of revelation,” he writes. “It’s like waiting through a season of disappointing baseball just to be there at that magic moment, when the angle of the pitch and the timing of the swing meet with a crack that will echo in your memory for days. And yet, unlike a home run, this occasion on the big screen doesn’t merely change the score. It changes you.”