My heart belongs to Seattle Pacific University,

… but Biola University is stirring up a lot of passionate discussion about filmmaking. And they’ve invited me to come down and speak at their 2007 Biola Media Conference, so how can I refuse?

I’ve decided to bring my “scandalous,” “subversive” “agenda” to L.A. on April 21 to talk about the Christians, art, movies, and criticism. And, frankly, I’m coming for reasons that are partly selfish… I want to learn more about the experiences of Christians in the arts, and there will be a lot of people there with interesting stories to tell.

Time permitting, I’ll talk about:

  • My own journey as a Christian moviegoer and the bad habits I can’t seem to break
  • The deep and profound truth of Milos Forman’s Amadeus
  • “Christian movies” and the things that many Christians are too nice to say about them
  • The deep and profound truth of The Story of the Weeping Camel
  • “R-rated movies” and the things that many Christians are too offended to say about them
  • The deep and profound truth of Chariots of Fire
  • Christian film criticis and the lovely, affectionate letters we receive from our brothers and sisters
  • The deep and profound truth of Michael Apted’s Amazing Grace
  • Why The Passion of the Christ and The Nativity Story didn’t make it into the CT Movies “cream of the crop” lists, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Little Miss Sunshine did
  • The deep and profound truth of Vera Drake
  • Why the best films about Christian faith tend to get made by heathens
  • The deep and profound truth of Three Colors: Blue
  • Ten great films about faith that most people have never seen
  • The deep and profound truth of The Muppet Movie
  • … and more.

In other words, I’m a glutton for punishment. But I think we can have some fun with these subjects and encourage each other toward excellence, better moviemaking, and better moviegoing. I’m going to learn a lot, and I’m planning to write about what I learn from the folks at the conference.

If you’re going to be there, let me know, so we can meet and chat. I’ll also be drinking a lot of coffee, signing copies of Through a Screen Darkly, writing about the conference for Christianity Today, and I’ll be armed and ready to interview folks who are doing good thoughtful work.

(Hopefully, the photo they’ve posted on the speakers page will be repaired soon. I promise you, I don’t look quite so blurry in person.)

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