'I'm a Lebowski; You're a Lebowski
Warning: The following article contains a potentially lethal
amount of inside jokes and Lebowski-related cliches. Proceed at your own risk. If you don't like it,
"that's just, like, your opinion, man."
Sometimes there's a movie... I won't say a heroic movie, 'cause what's a heroic movie? But sometimes, there's a movie - and I'm talkin' about The Big Lebowski here - sometimes, there's a movie, well, it's the movie for its time and place. It fits right in there .... ah, lost my train of thought.
Combine a urine-soaked, stolen rug (that really ties the room together), a Raymond Chandler-esque plot, a cast of bowling-alley misfits, a kidnapped (maybe) "trophy wife," a trio of German nihilists with a pet marmot with a, well, severed toe with green nail polish and you have what local cinema goers may call the perfect movie storm as the ReelHouse Cinema and Draft in Boone prepares to launch a local Lebowski Fest in homage to the quintessential slacker in all of us, the Dude ("His Dudeness... Duder... or El Duderino, if, you know, you're not into the whole brevity thing"). The film screens on Saturday, April 3, at 9:30 p.m.
Originally released in 1998, the classic Coen Brothers film chronicles the "strikes and gutters" of an unemployed stoner, Jeffrey Lebowski, played to perfection by Jeff Bridges as he becomes obliviously ensnared in a tapestry of increasingly stranger events after he is mistaken for the more affluent Jeffrey Lebowski by two thugs seeking to satisfy a loan due from "The Big Lebowski's" wife, Bunny.
Hilarity, it should go without saying, ensues as the plot spirals into a quirky, raucous, noir-like chain of events that would not be out of place in a Raymond Chandler novel (well, Chandler on acid).
Since it's release almost 12 years ago, the film has drawn a cult following that could threaten the supremacy of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the annals of movie geekdom.
After hearing about Lebowski festivals at other independent movie houses, ReelHouse owner Casey Pond decided the screening would "fit right in there" for the Boone market. The cinema will also offer an inflatable bowling alley with 4-foot high pins to complement the film's bowling motif ("Obviously, you're not a golfer").
Don't worry, it's not a league game, although it is on Shomar Shabbos so, if you're like John Goodman's Walter Sobchak character and "don't roll on Shabbos," you can still enjoy $2 White Russians - the Dude's beverage of choice. And, if the crowd gets too thick, you may want to exclaim: "Careful, man, there's a beverage here, huh?"
Speaking of crowds, Pond expects the cinema to fill up faster than a briefcase filled with Walter's dirty undies ("The ringer can't look empty, Dude").
"We've had people come by daily to see if they can get advance tickets [you can't]," he said. "We didn't expect that reaction."
So, be prepared to arrive early and stand in line. "This is not 'Nam. This is [cinema]. There are rules."
Make sure you don't step "OVER THE LINE!" or management will have to "mark it zero."
When dealing with the Lebowski culture, you know, there are a lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-yous - a lot of strands to keep in your head, man. A lot of strands in old Duder's head.
However, the peak of Lebowski mania can be traced back to 2002, when the original Lebowski Fest began in Louisville, Ky. Like an old carton of Half-and-Half, the festival has since fermented and grown to various metro venues across the U.S. (more information about upcoming fests can be found at lebowskifest.com).
The events usually include nights of unlimited bowling, trivia and costume contests. Jeff Bridges has been known to show up at a few of the Los Angeles events. The trend grew to such heights that organizers published a book, "I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You."
By the way, costumes are encouraged for the Boone Lebowski Fest. If you don't want to wear a costume, well, this it what happens, Larry. This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps (OK, that is a very obscure reference).
Pond hopes that, not only will the fest be worthy of the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers, but that it will also send up a nice buzz for future retro showings.
Some offerings he is considering include an Animal House revue, an Alfred Hitchcock festival, a Rocky Horror Picture Show showing and a series of Saturday night rockumentaries.
For more information about Lebowski Fest and what-have-you, log on to thereelhouseboone.com.
Until then, well, abide.
The Big Lebowski (1998) is rated R and stars Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and David Huddleston.
Maude Lebowski: What do you do for recreation?
The Dude: Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback
Walter Sobchak: You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me.
The Dude: Yeah, but Walter...
Walter Sobchak: Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon... with nail polish.
Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.
Walter Sobchak: You mark that frame an 8, and you're entering a world of pain.
The Big Lebowski: They did not receive the money, you nitwit! They did not receive the money! Her life was in your hands!
Brandt: This is our concern, Dude.
The Dude: And, you know, he's got emotional problems, man.
Walter Sobchak: You mean... beyond pacifism?
The Stranger: The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals.