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Fan letter of the day!


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I'm hoping Alan does the necessary to Jeff's user subtitle soon.

:lol:

Matt, if you succeed in getting Jeff dubbed "Christian intellectual-whore" in his profile, I hereby nominate you as "Christian intellectual-pimp." Hyphen and all.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I'm hoping Alan does the necessary to Jeff's user subtitle soon.

:lol:

Matt, if you succeed in getting Jeff dubbed "Christian intellectual-whore" in his profile, I hereby nominate you as "Christian intellectual-pimp." Hyphen and all.

Yes, the curious-use of the hyphen was-one of many grammatical wonders in that letter. And although I think it's best to let it go, there is a part of me that woulde love to forward all the responses from the bordello to Mr. Moral Pomposity.

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As a Woody Allen fan, I would prefer "Christian Whore of MENSA".

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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A coworker here in the office has volunteered to get me a new business card with the much, much trendier title: iHo.

I want it. I really want it.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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After all this, I have to admit I'm feeling much less persecuted over a recent Decent Films email calling me a "dumb ass writer" and demanding that I be fired.

Darn you, Overstreet. You've undermined my reassuring sense of persecution-entitlement. Darn you to heck.

Hey, maybe you could try this response to your correspondent: "Steven Greydanus's hate mailer called. He wants his hyphen back."

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Orson Scott Card

:blink:

Okay, maybe that deserves some explanation. I will forever be indebted to Card as the author of Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. But have you been to hatrack.com in the past couple years? I cannot shake the feeling that he's giving uncritical recommendations to bland and awkwardly-composed films simply because they dwell on some of his favorite themes and politics (For example, his soft pitch at The Nativity Story, his recommendation of How to Eat Fried Worms, his "I can relate" review of X3, or his fawning praise for Smallville, which he'd later call "one of the few great series in the history of television").

Card still has the occasional keen insight, but I don't put much stock in his recommendations anymore. If this letter were directed at Card, it would still be ridiculous and overwrought (and it would still be pretentious no matter who it was written to), but at least I could see some kernel of reality to it. But it's at a complete and total disconnect with Jeffrey's work, except, as you've suggested, it accuses him of all the things Jeffrey tries not to be.

Nathaniel K. Carter

www.nkcarter.com

"Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books." - C.S. Lewis

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iHo

How about "XiHo"? Or "iHo4X"?

But iHo4X, while hilarious, would probably read to 1337 speakers as "internet hoax."

Which may or may not circle us back around to the original letter.

Nathaniel K. Carter

www.nkcarter.com

"Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books." - C.S. Lewis

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For the record, this appears to be the school he's attending.

And here's what I sent him (with many thanks to Denny Wayman):

Dear Sir,

I am always looking to improve my writing. Please give me a specific instance in which you feel I have prostituted myself and how I should have written the review and I will consider your insights.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Overstreet

Film critic for lookingcloser.org, Christianity Today, Paste Magazine, Risen Magazine, Seattle Pacific University's Response Magazine

P.S. I often share the letters that I receive on my blog. Do you have any objections to having me post your letter?

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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For the record, this appears to be the school he's attending.

I hope you checked the faculty and staff lists to make sure you were dealing with a student!

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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This is probably all part of the school's plan to drive up traffic to its website. Sharp minds in the IT department!

My standard replies take two forms, depending on the level of erudition of the source. So this letter doesn't qualify for the "long" version. My short version goes something like this:

"I'm sorry the writing I do doesn't suit your needs. If you're seriously interested, I could recommend any number of writers who probably would."

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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For the record, this appears to be the school he's attending.

And here's what I sent him (with many thanks to Denny Wayman):

Dear Sir,

I am always looking to improve my writing. Please give me a specific instance in which you feel I have prostituted myself and how I should have written the review and I will consider your insights.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Overstreet

Film critic for lookingcloser.org, Christianity Today, Paste Magazine, Risen Magazine, Seattle Pacific University's Response Magazine

P.S. I often share the letters that I receive on my blog. Do you have any objections to having me post your letter?

Just got back to this. Loved the various responses of everyone.

I will be very interested in both responses - the invitation to give specifics and the request to print his letter.

Can't wait for the sequel - but I have a fear it will be far less interesting.

Denny

Since 1995 we have authored a commentary on film, cinema in focus. Though we enjoy cinema as an art form, our interests lie not so much in reviewing a film as in beginning a conversation about the social and spiritual values presented. We, therefore, often rate a film higher or lower due to its message rather than its quality of acting or film-making.

Cinema In Focus Website

Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara Website

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I'm curious to know which review set this guy off, since it's clear he doesn't read Jeffrey on a regular basis but nevertheless feels obliged to write him directly. Seems like this letter has been festering at the bottom of his soul for a good long while. What could have pushed him over the edge?

Bah. Probably not worth wondering about.

"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

Twitter     Letterboxd

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Honestly, I just don't get it. The letter itself is a non-sequitor. That in itself is drawing enough to elicite a response, but I fear it will prove to be not much more than an attention whore...

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Exactly the train of thought I wished to inspire...

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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I suggest you forward the writer's email directly to the following;

Jay Rundell,

President, Methodist Theological School in Ohio

jrundell@mtso.edu

Okay, that's just spiteful. But there's something seriously psychologically wrong with your correspondent. Maybe...

Leslie Taylor,

Director of Student Life

ltaylor@mtso.edu

I can't find anything for a chaplain.

Actually, I did something along these lines in response to one really nasty letter I received. I replied expressing concern, and suggesting that the writer take the letter to their pastor and go over it, then with the pastor's assistance draft a second version which might communicate their concerns more clearly, and that I would respond to that letter.

I didn't hear from him again.

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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