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This is not Nam. This is bowling.

This is the convention that I should be covering: bq. ...[T]he Lebowski Fest, which in June attracted 4,000 followers in Louisville, Ky., and on Friday arrives in New York City. For two days, Lebowski fans (referred to as Achievers) will dress up as their favorite character (or prop, like a severed toe), dig some far-out rock bands at the Knitting Factory, bowl in far-out Queens, imbibe White Russians (and maybe less licit substances) and spend a lot of time shouting lines at one another like:
"This aggression will not stand, man." I'm not the type to participate by, say, dressing up as a toe, but it would be interesting to observe. I'd say it would be a lot easier on my nerves to deal with marmots and bowling than protesters and the LIRR. And I'm sure al Qaeda has no plans to disrupt the Lebowski convention. Unless they have a thing against nihilists, that is. In fact, I could probably cover the Lebowski convention, write it up and make it appear as if I had been at theRNC. Vietnam references, a rich Republican, some mild class warfare...it could work. It's even got the protest angle: bq. Nowadays, the real Dude is back in the saddle. He's registering Lebowski fest attendees to vote, and vowed to deliver a gift basket to the Republican National Convention containing (according to his news release) "symbolic gifts including an oversize pair of glasses to help the Republicans see what's going on in our country, a copy of the Constitution to remind them of our rights as free citizens and a bowling ball so they will have something to do for the next four years." I can dismiss that easily. In my eyes, the "real Dude" doesn't even exist, because when Jeff Bridges walked into that role, be became the Dude. Forever. I know Lebowski is one of those love/hate things. I know more people who hate it than love it and those haters often question why I would watch this movie ten, twenty, even thirty times without getting tired of it. Some think I have an unhealthy fascination with Walter. But I don't. It's the Dude. I admire his position on everything and I think it's a road I should think about taking more often: The Dude abides. [Or maybe it is Walter: The Dude: And, you know, he's got emotional problems, man. Walter Sobchak: You mean... beyond pacifism?]

Comments

Best Cohen brothers movie, hands down, in my opinion.

And I would have been hard pressed to imagine them doing something better than Raising Arizona.

I'm restraining myself from citing quotes; hell, almost every line in Lebowski is quotable.

Best. Movie. Ever.

Confession time: I don't "get it." Seen the movie, thought it had some clever bits, and heck, I'm a sucker for Sam Elliot in anything, but overall... eh, big deal. A good example of how the Coens' penchant for self-indulgence can wreck a promising movie. Edit out 20 minutes of needless (and unfunny) nonsense, and you've got a much better flick. As it is, some funny bits, some good lines, but I wouldn't bother watching it again.

Second confession: I also thought The Exorcist was the most boring, scare-free piece of overrated crap that ever slithered into my VCR. What a thundering disappointment after 20 years of reading about how brilliant and scary it allegedly is...

Crush the dissent!!

Just kidding. ;)

It's ok, Will. As long as you still like Beavis and Butthead, I won't have to kick you out of my Cool Club.

As for the Exorcist - I don't know if it would scare me now but it made me almost piss my pants when I was 11.

Fargo - Best Cohen Bros. Movie Ever
Lebowski, close 3rd. Right after Arizona.

My biggest problem with "Fargo" was the complete lack of, well, Fargo.

Will

It was exceptionally scarey when it first came out, most of it because of the way it really chipped at the hubris of a "modern" society being at a total loss with faced with something primatively inexplicable (one of the scenes that remain very disturbing for me at this day is Regan, played by Linda Blair, being terrified by all the medical tests she is undergoing.)

It also scared me because it was the first time I ever ponied up $5 for a movie! Eeee! ;-)

BTW, I have a related question... why do we treat bowling like a big joke?

Michele, dare I suggest it..battle of the quotes between Lebowski, Arizona, and Fargo?

[Please delete if this was a stupid suggestion.]

You may battle. May the best movie win.

Uh...Michele, disclaimer

I don't mean my question above as a hijack..it's just that somehow "bowling" in movies is kinda used as a symbol of "to be pitied blue collar buffoons."

Hubris, I'm going to to bring the battle to a separate post.

Sweet!

Have the Swift Boat Veterans called Walter's service into question yet?

I'm with Will. I don't get it. (The Exorcist, on the other hand, scared me witless until I had the misfortune in my early 20's to catch "Exorcist II" on cable. That sucked all the joy out of the whole franchise for me.)

Michelle, I won't hold that against you. Heck, I thought "The Black Hole" and "Flash Gordon" were really good when I was 11...

Flash Gordon still kicks ass. (Admittedly, with a big assist from Queen.)

It's interesting. I'm probably one of the most lefty types trolling this site. And virtually the only thing Michele and I agree on is that we love The Big Lebowski. I too have watched it 20 or 30 times. And I'm not the only one. All my anarcho-communist friends love it too.

Why?

What is it about The Big Lebowski that can transcend the ideological divide that grips our country and our world?

Discuss.

Senor Lileks, wasn't that early scene, the one in the diner, filmed in Fargo? But don't tell me if it wasn't, because I can't stand the idea of Hollywood types not telling the truth. That would utterly harsh my entire worldview mellow, man.

And who cares which is the best of those great films? If I'm going to be on a desert island, I'm packing a freaking boat instead of a dvd player, a book, a cd, and a volleyball.

For me, Lebowski was an okay movie. Saw it once in the theater, don't particularly care if I ever see it again. (Kinda like Barton Fink.)

The most memorable thing about it for me was Sam Elliot, because he's such a long tall sexy thing. Woof!

Anyway, I don't need The Big Lebowski. I have Buckaroo Banzai.

DARPANet: humor?

Lebowski is the yardstick I use to measure my fellow humans. People who like it as much as me are almost always the kinds of people I have fun hanging out with. Neutrals are, well, OK to be around. People who hate it? Don't share my sense of humor, so are probably a bore to hang out with.

I accidentally dressed up as Walter for Halloween last year. Really, for me, it doesn't take much.

These are "films", right?

"Motion pictures"?

I've seen a few minutes of Fargo, and maybe a quarter of Arizona, so long ago I don't remember any of it.

These "Coens" directed other films, yes?

Jon: "Senor Lileks, wasn't that early scene, the one in the diner, filmed in Fargo? But don't tell me if it wasn't, because I can't stand the idea of Hollywood types not telling the truth. That would utterly harsh my entire worldview mellow, man."

The opening shots were supposed to be in Fargo, but they were shot in Minneapolis - about ten blocks from an old house of mine, in fact. But through the Magic of Movies - specifically, a subtitle that said "Fargo" - it became Fargo.

Damn those lying Hollywood bastards! Next thing you know, jumping at a camera won't save me from an explosion!

Jon, you poor simpleton (no offnese, I mean that in a positive, complimentary way). You don't jump at the camera to escape an explosion. Everybody knows that the way to escape an explosion is to jump at the camera in slow motion while yelling "Nooooooo!"

Incidentally, that differs from the approved technique to witnessing a friend killed, which is to stand staring at the camera with fists clenched while yelling "Noooooo!"

Man, I'd hate to have you around in my life story. You'd be the kind of comic sidekick that gets everybody killed.

Well, be sure to send me an email if you want to inherit something.

People either love this movie and hate Starship Troopers or visa versa. It was the topic of my college thesis.

Chad, I liked both The Big Lebowski and Starship Troopers.

Jon, inherit something? Are you nuts? What happens in any movie where a guy gets some unexplained object in the mail from some other guy he doesn't really know who just died?

Bad stuff, man. Always bad stuff. A whole movie of it. And usually, at the end, the guy (the first one) ends up face to face with the other guy (the second one) who didn't really die but sent the unexplained object off to the first guy and faked his death so all the bad stuff would happen to the first guy. And then the guy (the second one) ends up dying at the end anyway because he tries to kill off the first guy after he's dealt with the movie full of bad stuff.

So no thank you. No unexplained inheritances.

Best Coen Movie- "O Brother Where Art Thou". The Soggy Bottom Boys, Dapper Dan, sirens, chain gangs, river baptisms, and very good child actors (George Clooney's daughters). Wholly original with a great John Goodman cameo to boot.

Lebowski is wildly uneven but the highs make the whole endeavor worthwhile. Two downsides: Steve Buscemi doesn't have enough to do and John Goodman curses too damn much. Cursing itself doesn't bother me but dropping f-bombs in scenes with kids really, really bugs me.

The big upside is, of course, the Dude. And Sam Elliot's running commentary on the Dude.

Best line: Dude's in a taxi when "Hotel California" comes on the radio. "No, not the Eagles, man. I've had a really bad day." And the black cabbie promptly throws him out of the car for dissing the Eagles. As a teen from the 70's I heard enough of their stuff to last a lifetime. It's competant pop but nothing special. When they come on in the car that's my cue to change the station.