Josh Larsen, co-host of the radio show and podcast Filmspotting, has signed a contract with InterVarsity Press for a book about movies as prayer to be released in Fall 2017.
"We are thrilled to welcome Josh Larsen to InterVarsity Press. His cinematic knowledge is astounding, as regular listeners to his popular Filmspotting podcast well know," said Helen Lee, associate editor for IVP Books and IVP Praxis. "In his forthcoming book, he will combine his insights on film and faith in a unique way, helping readers to see movies as representations of different kinds of prayers to God. Whether you are a serious cinephile or just someone who appreciates quality film, you will be captivated by what Josh has to offer in this book."
Larsen's book will identify ten different types of prayer and then place significant films within each prayer tradition. He writes: "Movies are our way of telling God what we think about this world and our place in it. Into the Wild praises God for the world's beauty. Watchmen laments its inherently fallen state. Sunrise is a pledge of obedience. Fight Club cries out in defiance. 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Wizard of Oz artfully plead to know him more.”
Larsen said, "This book will illuminate the richness of Christian prayer alongside the richness of the cinema. This idea was born of years sitting in two very different auditoriums: church sanctuaries and movie theaters. I spent many childhood Saturdays with my movie-fan parents at the theater, while the occasional Sunday found me tagging along with my dad to the church where he was serving as the guest preacher. Perhaps it was inevitable that films and faith would become intertwined in my head and I would pursue criticism as a career."
Larsen spent eleven years as a film critic for Chicago-based Sun-Times Media. In 2012 he became the co-host of the Filmspotting podcast, which also airs on the NPR affiliate WBEZ-FM in Chicago. He writes about movies at LarsenOnFilm and is editor of the faith and culture online magazine Think Christian. Larsen is also a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Online Film Critics Association and the Podcast Film Critics Association. You can follow him on Twitter (@LarsenonFilm).