Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eszterhas gives thanks

Excerpts from a Thanksgiving-season interview by Marvin Olasky in World with Joe Eszterhas-- to talk about his old life, his new life, and his new book, Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith...

(I have already blogged on his conversion and his life's story. So, I'll try to excerpt the parts that go beyond that.)

Olasky's opening/intro: "Just as Christmas should center on Christ, so Thanksgiving should emphasize the recipient of thanks. God gives us amber waves of not only grain but grace, as He continues to transform the lives of those who formerly scorned His teaching."

Q: Is there a market for stories that show both light and darkness? Can you make stuff that's real and still suffused with light?

To do the kind of commercially successful filmmaking that I'm talking about, it can't be saccharine, and it can't be proselytizing. They have to be stories that move people, not because you're beating them over the head but because the message inherently comes out in the story that you tell.

Look at a movie like Rocky: There are lots of stories like that, that are uplifting, moving stories set in a gritty reality, and you can do those stories with Christian values. Look at the Johnny Cash movie, Walk the Line. The most important element of Johnny Cash's life was his faith. He wrote a novel about St. Paul, he financed a movie about Jesus—it was at the core of the man. Walk the Line doesn't mention it. It's a story about a guy who does drugs and has bad behavior. In the process they belie the man, because that's a false picture of who Johnny Cash was. But you could tell that same story—assume that movie hadn't been made—if I wrote that movie and did it, that element would certainly be there, and I think it would have been a better movie.

Q: I see what you're not doing now that you have come to Christ—what are you doing that you wouldn't have done otherwise?

I'm praying a lot. I'm trying to read the Bible more. But you know the greatest change? I feel a sense of peace, I feel differently than I ever have before. That's the only way I can describe it.


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