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The Religious Affiliation of Director
Mark Steven Johnson

About the feature film Simon Birch (1998), which was Mark Steven Johnson's feature directorial debut. From: Catherine M. Barsotti and Robert K. Johnston, Finding God in the Movies: 33 Films of Reel Faith, Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Michigan (2004), pages 222-223:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecreted you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations

- Jeremiah 1:5, opening quotation
in A Prayer for Owen Meany
I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice--not because of his voice or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was an instrument in my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God.

- Quoted in Simon Birch; suggested
by the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany
Being lovers of books and films, we couldn't resist Simon Birch, a film adaptation (in a very loose sense) of John Irving's novel A Prayer for Owen Meany. We say this despite the fact that seven of the ten critics we surveyed praised the novel but called the film a "promising failure." There are those times (and Simon Birch) is an example when a film does not fully capture the power of the novel. In Simon Birch, the story's power is lost in part because the novel's explicitly Christian worldview is diluted. (The quote from the film actually continues in the novel, "I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.") However, the basic story of two twelve-year-old best friends (both social misfits in a small, New England town in the mid-1960s) trying to understand life is kept intact. In the telling, the film wonderfully deals with faith, fate, and friendship.

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