Great book for movie lovers or those interested in finding new meaning in cinema. His style and structure made for a quick read, and he covered all genres of movies - citing examples from the last 100 years. This book is a great addition to what Josh discusses on "Filmspotting" (podcast).
I've enjoyed watching films my entire life. I've also been a Christian my entire life. I've never considered weaving the two together as a way to enrich the experiences that both offer. Larsen does just that without being too preachy. Even if you don't consider yourself to be religious this book offers what all great books do...a chance to consider something from a different perspective.
Hard to believe, but Josh Larsen dissects his faith and how he prays through this amazing book about where art and expressions to God meet. I recommend this book to anyone who loves film and would like a guide to view films through a new lens. Also, for those who would like a better understanding of the conceits if different forms of prayer.
Larsen's book dives into different types of prayers and shows how they echo in an array of movies. I really enjoyed spending time reading about a lot of these films again and seeing the way Josh would bounce his ideas and spirituality off of each of them.
The discussions come in nice sized pieces, where you can jump in and peek at a movie or thought for a few minutes, or you can sit down for an hour and read several. Each chapter gives a few examples from several different genres of film too, so the book moves nicely. Josh has also done the heavy lifting on a lot of the religious text so you don't have to. My college required a few religion classes as part of the core requirements, and while I enjoyed the in class discussions I always struggled to keep up with the reading. This book really operates as a free flowing conversation and without ever slowing down, it expertly weaves in some really good thoughts from all sorts of notable texts.
If you can get on board with the following, this book is for you:
"Could a single film prayerfully envision the original glory of creation, mark the tragedy of the fall, evoke our redemption, and point ahead to the restoration that is to come?
"I'll suggest Rushmore."
I got on board.
Larsen shows a wide knowledge of film while explaining how movies could be prayers—even prayers made by non-believers. Divided into categories like praise, anger, and joy, "Movies Are Prayers" references film after film that speaks to the deeper reasons so many of us are so taken by these larger-than-life stories.
If you appreciate theological takes on pop-culture creations (akin to works like, ahem, "The Gospel According to Breaking Bad,") you should enjoy this book.
At the very least, I imagine you'll add a few dozen films to your to-watch list.