Some movies have such a big impact on society that until you see them, you’re lacking in necessary reference points. ‘The Big Lebowski’ is one of those movies, and I’m glad to say I finally saw it last night.
The Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival took place this past weekend and included a Coen Brothers marathon yesterday at our lovely downtown State Theatre. At $10 for an all-day pass, I could have easily camped out there for the duration. But alas, work called, so I had to choose wisely.
Since I know all of the other movies by heart — ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?,’ ‘Fargo,’ and ‘Raising Arizona,’ I decided to invest my time in ‘The Big Lebowski,’ which I’ve never seen before. I know, and I call myself a movie critic, right?
I watched the movie practically nodding to myself all the way through it. “Hmmm … yes … I see now … it all makes sense …” More specifically…
The Dude. I’m guessing this is the time-period in our collective history when people started using “Dude” as a salutation and gesture of friendship: “Dude, I love those new Jimmy Choos” and “Have a great day, Dude.” I never knew where this came from before seeing the movie last night.
The Excellence of Coen Brothers Actors. Sure, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and the like are notable for other works, but you can see they’re really in their element in Coen Brothers’ films like ‘Fargo,’ ‘Barton Fink,’ ‘Raising Arizona,’ ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’ and ‘True Grit.’ In a great Hollywood Reporter interview, Bridges calls them the Koan Brothers, referencing the Zen technique of posing questions that have no logical answer. I get that.
The Quotes. I’ve heard some of these lines through the years, but had no reference point for them until now:
- “That rug really tied the room together, didn’t it?”
- “I like your style, Dude.”
- “The Dude abides.”
Would love to hear your thoughts on ‘The Big Lebowski’ and other Coen Brothers movies. Spill ‘em below, but first, watch one of my favorite scenes with a song from Creedence Clearwater Revival…