Jeffrey Overstreet’s Commentary on Aronofsky’s Noah

As I’ve already mentioned, I have been thinking about writing a critique of the Christian response to Darren Aronofsky’s film, Noah.  Because I’ve been consistently floored by  the responses I’ve seen coming from different quarters about the film, I may still write it.

Meanwhile, writer Jeffrey Overstreet has written a very good commentary on the same subject, and hits some very important points:

First, why Aronofsky was a natural choice as a filmmaker to make the story of Noah:

The story of Noah and the ark is an Old Testament story, cherished by many religious traditions (not just Christianity). It’s about a man who goes to extremes, following God’s instruction in hopes of saving his family and the living things that God has created from the judgment that God promises to bring down upon the earth. When the great flood comes, Noah’s obedience is honored, and he and his family are saved.

But that’s not the end of the story. Things take a terrible turn. Noah becomes a darker, more complicated character, prone to drunkenness, and shaming himself before his family.

It sounded like just the subject for Darren Aronofsky.

Second, when the film arrived:

Some believers did indeed rejoice. They celebrated the film as a powerful interpretation.

Some didn’t rejoice. They were disappointed. The movie didn’t work for them.

Nevertheless, these two groups had civil discussions about the film. They argued respectfully about Aronofsky’s imaginative flourishes. They argued respectfully about his interpretation of the Bible story.

Third, regarding a third group that reacted angrily about the film:

Moreover, these angry people condemned moviegoers who disagreed with them. They said that any Christians who say they like Noah must be one or more of the following:

• They’re lying.

• They’re deceived.

• They’ve been paid off by the studios.

• They’re so embarrassed over being a Christian, so filled with self-loathing, that they’ll cheer for anyone who makes a mockery of the faith.

I would invite you to go read Overstreet’s analysis in it’s entirety, and wait for part two.  It’s the continuation of an interesting conversation.

Update:  You can read part two of Overstreet’s commentary here.  It’s a fascinating discussion of Noah that Overstreet had with film enthusiast, Julie Silander.  It’s a good read, too.



Thimblerig’s Ark – from idea to manuscript to… ?

In the time since I wrote my first post here back in October 2011, I’ve completed my first draft, revised a second draft and a third draft, had the manuscript read by a cadre of beta readers, revised again, had the manuscript read again by a couple of experienced writers and revised again, and finally gotten it where I want it to be.  However, I’m guessing even more revision is in my future.

Coming in March 2014

Coming in March 2014

But here’s the deal.  Darren Aranofsky and Russell Crowe’s film, “Noah” is coming out in just a couple of months, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to proceed. Should I attempt self-publication in the hopes of riding the wave of interest is film will garner? Or should I go the traditional route and find an agent who wants to represent me, which would put publication out at probably over a year. By that time, the “Noah” interest will have sailed on, and the book will have to stand on its own merits.  I’ve even tweeted my website to Russell Crowe with the hopes he’d do a retweet, and get the novel some attention!  I doubt he’ll do it, but that’s the world we unknown writers live in!

Not willing to just wait and try to see if a megastar will give me a hand, I have also spent the past two days sending out queries and submissions to about a dozen agents, and now sit back waiting to get the responses. If publishing history is any indication, I’ll get several rejections. I might get a couple of agents interested to see the full manuscript, but even then it’s not a definite. And when I finally do find an agent, then that person will have to sell the story to a publisher.

All in all, it’s a really long, drawn-out process.

To be honest, I’m obviously more attracted to the traditional route. That’s the way a writing career is really possible, and that would be a dream come true for me. Yes, there are stories of people finding great success self-publishing, but with over 300,000 new books self-published last year, the odds are pretty long. Again, this is why catching the “Noah” wave is so critical.

So then, the great question for me continues to be – to self-publish or to not self-publish?