Overview, Table of Contents, and Free Chapter

Watching a movie is more than an opportunity to be entertained. Watching a movie is an opportunity to meet with God. In a few brief chapters, How to Talk to a Movie will forever change the way you watch movies by opening your eyes and ears to what movies are saying, how they are saying it, and how God might be speaking to you through them.

How to Talk to a Movie is the first book in our new Reel Spirituality Monograph Series with Cascade Books. It is available now in both physical and ebook form and only $13.60. Go here to order a copy today. Check out the Table of Contents below, and download a sample chapter if you like.


Series Foreword | ix
Foreword by Kutter Callaway | xiii
Preface | xv
Acknowledgements | xxi
Introduction | xxv

1  Why Talking To A Movie Matters Whether You Agree With The Movie Or Not | 1
2  Learn To Listen First And Then Respond | 15
3  When We Don’t Like What We Hear | 19
4  Learning To Listen | 25
5  Basic Story Structure | 28
6  Now, Respond | 59
7  An Exercise—Talk To Toy Story | 63
8  Conclusion—Four Conversations With Four Filmmakers | 67

Appendix: Talking To Toy Story | 79

Bibliography | 87
Filmography | 89 


“The writer Frederick Buechner once said that the most basic lesson that all art teaches us is to stop, look, and listen. When we truly listen, he says, we discover that life is a vastly richer, more mysterious business that we might have initially suspected. Davidson’ book helps us to do just that: to listen to what our neighbor is saying, through a movie, and to discover the mysterious business of God’s voice there, too.”

– W. David O. Taylor, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Deceptively brief and simple, How to Talk to a Movie is a great read–whether for students taking classes on film, for Christians wanting to lead a film discussion group, or for any and all film lovers who recognize that a film’s presence extends outward beyond its screening to conversations with others and perhaps the Other.”

– Robert K. Johnston, Author of Reel Spirituality, Co-editor of God in the Movies

“Talking at a movie is easy. Talking to it requires a different attitude, and a more refined set of skills. In How to Talk to a Movie, Elijah Davidson instructs the reader in that skill set and also makes the persuasive argument that this approach to cinema is one that Christians in particular should embrace. I wholeheartedly agree.”

– Josh Larsen, Editor, Think Christian; Co-host, Filmspotting; Author of Movies are Prayers

“How to Talk to a Movie offers thoughtful, spiritual reflection worth considering for anyone who wants to engage with movies beyond the surface. This would be required reading if I were teaching any theological film analysis course. Highly recommended!”

– Avril Z. Speaks, FIlm/TV Producer; Director; Editor

“Davidson responds to cinema with both heart and mind, and builds a raft for people of faith to explore something beyond the light on the screen. Asking what shape the meaning in the movies can take in our own lives, his is a warm and enthusiastic invitation to a better way of experiencing art and soul.”

– Gareth Higgins, Founder, moviesandmeaning.com and theporchmagazine.com