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July 20, 2009

Blue Like Effing Jazz?

The filmmakers behind 'Blue Like Jazz' ask: How much cussing is too much?

Steve Taylor, director of the someday-upcoming Blue Like Jazz movie (based on the Donald Miller book of the same title), wonders just how many bad words to include in the film. Since the story is set on what the book calls "the most godless campus in America," Taylor and his co-writers--including Miller--believed that truthful storytelling would include at least a bit of bad language, leaving some to wonder just how "blue" the script might be.

Writes Taylor on the BLJ website: "While the CussCount for Blue Like Jazz is lower than Al Pacino's shootout scene in Scarface, it is considerably higher than all the Pixar movies combined.

"For most of you reading this – No Big Deal. . . . [You] expect, in a movie like ours, to hear a certain number of ****s, ****s, ***es, and possibly even the judicious use of ******* when spoken solely as an adjective."

Taylor went on to write that his posting was an "olive branch" to fans who want the language "scrubbed," adding, "We're open to your suggestions. Really. Please post a reply with your favorite non-curse word or phrase, use it in a sentence, and we'll try out the best ones as alternate takes."

Related Tags: Blue Like Jazz


The real question: Why make a movie from this book at all?

While I love the book, I'm also having difficulty imagining it as a film.

To the point, my mind is still completely boggled at the degree of angst christians still carry over the occasional cuss word. The Derek Webb "controversy," and now this, have taken on a surreally absurd tone that makes me wonder how many christians exist in the real world, beyond the cloister of the evangelical emotional fortress? I am hard pressed to think of anything less relevant to the discussion of good art than this. Cultural christianity continues to choke on matters of style to avoid having to discuss matters of subtance. What a shame.

One solution is to have a "scrubbed" version when the DVD is released. But I have to agree with the first two writers in that I am having a hard time woth why to make this into a movie in the first place.

Why not tackle a Dekker story or even a Peretti (sp?) story because I had been hearing for YEARS that This Present Darkness was heading for the big screen. What happened?

Other notable Christian books that would make great movies...

Restoration Series by Terri Blackstock
The O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson
The Shiloh Legacy Series by Bodie and Brock Thoene

These would make a better film than Blue Like Jazz, hands down!!! Please pass this along to all the Christian producers and directors out there. Thanks!


I've read the book of Genesis.

It's way dirtier than the occasional f-word.