Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Dude Abides!

The Dude abides. The last words spoken by Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski. Picking The Big Lebowski apart in order to give an explanation to somebody that's never before experienced the film is like trying to explain grammar to a Pomeranian. You're lucky if you get a head cock at the end. Well, the movie starts off with this guy named Lebowski that calls himself The Dude and he gets mistaken for another guy named Lebowski, which results in his rug getting peed on, his car getting stolen, not mention run-ins with nihilists, an angry Malibu police chief, an Eagles loving cab driver, a severed toe and an angry "marmot."

Throw into this mix a stonewaller, numerous White Russians, a neighbour performing his "cycle", a feminist, a stranger that pops in from time to time, 281 f-bombs and John Turturro's character which, well, all but completely defies explanation. The Dude's wonderfully exaggerated laziness almost looks normal compared to the Coen-created world around him, including his friend, Vietnam war veteran Walter, who despite his best efforts, just seems to make everything worse for The Dude.

For those of you that have not yet experienced The Big Lebowski, this Coen Brothers' comedy was released on March 6th, 1998 and stars Jeff Bridges as The Dude and John Goodman as his best friend Walter. Coen Brothers' regulars Steve Buscemi and John Turturro co-star in the movie with Julianne Moore and Peter Stormare. The film takes a simple case of mistaken identity and puts our main character ("I won't say a hero, cuz what is a hero," as our narrating stranger points out) through a proverbial roller coaster ride, with ups and downs, strikes and gutters. And in the end, well, The Dude abides.

The film flopped at the box office, but became wildly popular on video and DVD. It's been referred to as the first cult film of the internet generation. LebowskiFests have brought in thousands of Lebowski fans in the US and parts of Europe who come dressed up as their favourite characters or props. LebowskiFests typically include bowling, games, White Russians and oat sodas, and of course, a showing of the film. Further north, LebowskiPalooza 2010 is starting to take shape, to a lessor, but charitable extent. Lebowski fans have been spotted on The Price is Right wearing "Achiever" t-shirts and baking a toe shaped cake on the Ace of Cakes. The fans are out there, quoting the movie's best lines, and believe me when I say, The Big Lebowski is chock full of them.

It's always been my suspicion that many people didn't really get The Big Lebowski upon its initial release. I know the first time I saw it, I found it funny, but a little too complex for my young brain. I made a point of watching it again to figure out all of the ins and outs and what have yous only to find myself enjoy it even more the second time around. At this point I join many Lebowski fans around the globe that have seen the movie more times than I cared to count, but know that I couldn't do it on two hands. The more times you watch The Big Lebowski, the fonder your appreciation will be. The movie is a masterpiece of writing, acting, direction and what have you.

Visit to learn more about this Coen brothers' classic and about our event, LebowskiPalooza 2010.

Catch ya later on down the trail.

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