Films for All Seasons: Experiencing the Church Year at the Movies, By Abby Olcese

Films for All Seasons

Experiencing the Church Year at the Movies

by Abby Olcese
Foreword by Josh Larsen

Films for All Seasons
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: October 15, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0784
  • ISBN: 9781514007846

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The Spiritual Practice of Watching Movies

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Easter movie? Pentecost movie? Casual viewers and movie buffs alike have favorite movies to watch at certain times of the year. But for film critic Abby Olcese, movies with spiritual themes aren't just limited to the holiday season. They’re part of a deep human need to connect our favorite stories to the natural rhythms of our lives, and to let them shape and give meaning to our experience of the seasons all year long.

The life of the church is also defined by stories, which we revisit through the pattern of the Christian year. In Films for All Seasons, Olcese invites us to reflect on the great themes of the church calendar through the lens of film. From superhero movies and Star Wars to classics and arthouse films, she chooses movies for each liturgical season and leads us through them with skill and infectious enthusiasm, exploring how each one can inform and deepen our appreciation of its corresponding season.

Films for All Seasons is more than just a book about movies—it's a model for how we engage with art as Christians.


  • Explorations of popular, classic, and arthouse films and how they relate to liturgical seasons
  • Reflections on the great themes of the church calendar
  • Discussion questions after each movie designed to facilitate discussion with small groups and friends

"In Films for All Seasons, Abby Olcese brings a sense of playfulness and thoughtfulness to the act of moviegoing through the lens of the Christian liturgical year. She makes the case for a connection between careful Bible study and what she refers to as a 'spiritually curious' approach to engaging with art and the world. In so doing, she provides a valuable resource for anyone who wants to apply their faith to other parts of their lives. Her approach to watching films has enriched my own."

Sarah Welch-Larson, author of Becoming Alien: The Beginning and End of Evil in Science Fiction's Most Idiosyncratic Film Franchise


Introduction: Why Watch Films as a Spiritual Practice?
1. Thoughts on Watching Devotionally
2. Advent
3. Christmas
4. Epiphany
5. Lent
6. Holy Week
7. Easter
8. Ascension Day
9. Pentecost
10. All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day
Conclusion: Ordinary Time



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Abby Olcese

Abby Olcese is a writer on film, popular culture, and faith. Her work has appeared at Think Christian, Sojourners, Paste,, and /Film. She is also the film editor for The Pitch, a website and magazine serving the greater Kansas City, Missouri, area. She lives in Kansas City.