36: “You’re a Lebowski, I’m a Lebowski” – The Big Lebowski
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)
A rug that really tied the room together until it got peed on. A hippie burnout who kept burning. A Vietnam vet who drags everyone else into his world of pain. Add to this a case of mistaken identity, the kidnapping of a trophy wife (in the parlance of our times), and an erotic artist seeking a good and thorough man and you have just *a few* of the characters and plot elements of the woolly and disoriented world of THE BIG LEBOWSKI, the cult favorite 1998 film by the legendary writer-director team of Joel and Ethan Coen.
The Big Lebowski was on every single level the intentional opposite of its Oscar-winning, box office-hit predecessor FARGO (1996), and audiences and critics at the time (like some of our hosts) didn’t abide this strangely hypnotic film. The Coens’ vision of Los Angeles is distinctly un-Hollywood, and it’s filled with anachronistic characters seemingly unstuck in time from the Wild West, the Summer of Love, and the Vietnam War all thrown into the plot of a 1950’s Raymond Chandler detective novel that is playing out in the very early 1990’s. There are so many ins, outs, and what-have-you’s you may need to mix a White Russian and roll a joint just to think it all through.
And in the years since its release, new shit has come to light – and now film audiences of all generations fully embrace and revel in the journey of Jeff Bridges’ stoned drifter The Dude (or His Dudeness, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) recovering the few things that keep his universe together – his car, his rug, and his Creedence tapes. Let’s see if our hosts found joy in this movie about bowlers who never actually roll, or if they believe in NOTHING.
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