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The Wonder of the Cinema

#47 The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

“Way out west there was this fella… fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. Mr. Lebowski, he called himself “The Dude”.”

The Cohen brothers, Joel and Ethan, have built a reputation for crafting, well, different films.  Some are disturbing and very dark like No Country For Old Men and Blood Simple.  Some are satires or black comedies like The Hudsucker Proxy and O Brother, Where Art Thou?  They explored classic genres like the crime thriller with Fargo and the classic romantic comedy in Intolerable Cruelty.  And even a grittier remake of a classic with True Grit.  However, The Big Lebowski is a bit strange.

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It begins with a voice over introducing The Dude, played by Jeff Bridges.  Then like all good caper stories The Dude gets mixed up in one problem after another most of which he didn’t cause.  The strange part are the dream sequences which feel both out of place in the film but also vitally necessary.  It’s like watching an acid trip that actually has a message.  The Big Lebowski earned mixed reviews when it came out, but over time the trend is more positive as the film has achieved something of a cult status.  After all… The Dude abides.

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About Rob Sterner

English teacher, Film buff, Filmmaker, Writer, Musician, Photographer, Runner, Taoist, Thinker, List maker...

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