There are at least two good reasons every person in Chicago needs to go and see the film Blue Like Jazz this weekend. Really there are more, but I wanted to keep this post from going on forever. Also, one of my colleagues at ChicagoNow.com has done a great job of talking about the film already, so go read that post too.
Reason Number One: We will all get along better if we understand each other.
Like that letter you finally wrote to your last girlfriend turned friend turned friend with benefits that finally just set things right and let you both move on, Blue Like Jazz is a cultural healing point in America. I predict it will either be instrumental in moving us forward or yet one more attempt at healing shoved aside by those more interested in personal gain. Say for example there were some folks making a fair chunk of change by making films that might be put aside should this film succeed. I'm looking at you Provident Films.
Maybe you've noticed a pattern, as I have of late, that a person talking about their faith usually encounters something similar having Miranda rights read; what you say can and will be used against you. Faith is all too often used as a mask put on to get votes, a reason for hate crimes, or a litmus test for discrimination.
Particularly in the public spotlight, the role of religion tends to appear as mostly divisive in nature. But humans, when face to face with other humans under most conditions usually try to adhere to one another, not divide one another. We are social animals that need the company of others and usually find a way to get along if forced to be together by circumstance.
That's a story that needs to be told and one that echoes like a refrain through Steve Taylor's film adaptation of Donald Miller's book Blue Like Jazz.
Reason Number Two: Good art needs patrons, the more expensive the art, the greater number of patrons needed.
No art in history has ever existed without patrons. For the longest time in America, we were ok letting the artists make the films and trusted that the studios or producers were good enough at judging which films needed to be made and which did not. Such is not the case any longer.
Think of all the crap that gets put out today. Beyond that, most of it just isn't new at all. 3D versions of films YEARS old are some months the best of what we get. We need to vote with our feet and say "that's not good enough."
Don't go because it is a "God" film, go because it is a GOOD film.