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Blue Like Jazz’ hopes to go from New York Times bestseller to big screen in Columbus

Courtesy of The Castro Music

Donald Miller published a book of essays titled “Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality” in 2003. Mostly based on his time at Reed College, a liberal arts college in Oregon, his semi-autobiographical book came to be a New York Times bestseller that sold more than 1 million copies.

Given that the book seemed to resonate well with readers, Miller’s story expanded its reach to film enthusiasts. Since the film adaptation “Blue Like Jazz’s” release in April with limited theater time, the movie has grossed nearly $600,000 in the U.S., according to Box Office Mojo.

It is scheduled to be screened 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at AMC Lennox Town Center 24, provided that 78 tickets are reserved by Thursday. Live music from The Castros and art inspired by the book and film are also slated to be at the screening.

However, if the film does not reach the required number of tickets reserved, it will instead be screened for free at Kafe Kerouac, located at 2250 N. High St. If the threshold is not met, details will on the event at Kafe Kerouac will be released on The Castro’s website.

In the film adaptation, 19-year-old Don moves away from his Christian mother and church to attend Reed College. When he gets there, he discovers the students are more secular than he had expected and he joins an activist group in an attempt to fit in and find himself.

This isn’t the first time “Blue Like Jazz” fans have been encouraged to show their support for the film. A campaign on the fundraising website Kickstarter was started after Miller wrote a blog post Sept. 16, 2010, that the film project was dead because there were no financial backers. One month after the Kickstarter was launched, and “Save Blue Like Jazz” raised 276 percent of its $125,000 goal, receiving nearly $346,000 from fans’ donations.

Director of the film Steve Taylor said he thinks “Blue Like Jazz” is a story many people can relate to.

“I read the book seven years ago and felt an immediate connection,” Taylor said in an email. “Like the main character in the movie, I grew up in a conservative Baptist environment, so when I arrived at Colorado University in Boulder for college I was quite unprepared for such a radically different environment.”

Some Ohio State students hadn’t heard of “Blue Like Jazz” but agreed the plot line sounds like a relatable one.

“I can kind of relate to (the plot). It’s a Christian kid who goes off to college. I think that’s something that’s similar to me,” said Caleb Saunders, a third-year in Russian.

Other students said they would be interested in seeing the movie because it’s about someone moving outside of their his comfort zone.

“It just kind of sounds fun when people go into a completely different environment and learn new things from different people that they’ve never met before,” said Abi Dejesus, a first-year in exploration.

Still others said they think the film touching on religious versus secular views would make it interesting to watch.

“(I’d be interested in) seeing what’s reality, especially with the secular, views because that’s something that is a big debated topic between a majority of people,” said Nella Vuksanovich, a second-year in civil engineering.

Tickets can be reserved online for $10.

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