Whether contending with nihilists, botching a kidnapping pay-off, watching as his beloved rug is micturated upon, or simply bowling and drinking Caucasians, the Dude—or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing—abides. As embodied by Jeff Bridges, the main character of the 1998 Coen brothers’ film The Big Lebowski is a modern hero who has inspired festivals, burlesque interpretations, and even a religion (Dudeism). In time for the fifteenth anniversary of The Big Lebowski, film author and curator Jenny M. Jones tells the full story of the Dude, from how the Coen brothers came up with the idea for a modern LA noir to never-been-told anecdotes about the film’s production, its critical and commercial reception, and, finally, how it came to be such an international cult hit. Achievers, as Lebowski fans call themselves, will discover many hidden truths, including why it is that Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) is so obsessed with Vietnam, what makes Theodore Donald “Donny” Kerabatsos (Steve Buscemi) so confused all the time, how the film defies genre, and what unexpected surprise Bridges got during filming of the Gutterballs dream sequence. (Hint: it involved curly wigs and a gurney.) Interspersed throughout are sidebars, interviews with members of the film’s cast and crew, scene breakdowns, guest essays by prominent experts on Lebowski language, music, filmmaking techniques, and more, and hundreds of photographs—including many of artwork inspired by the film.
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JENNY M. JONES is the author of The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay. She has worked in film exhibition at the Northwest Film Center in Portland, Oregon, and the late, great Oak Street Cinema and the Walker Art Center, both in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the Walker, she helped organize a complete 35mm retrospective of the work of Joel and Ethan Coen and an onstage conversation with the brothers. Like Ethan, her work history also includes a brief stint at the legendary Embers Restaurant. She currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her daughter Madeline.Contenuti:
Contents Prologue Part I B.L.: The Coens before Lebowski The Coen Brothers: The Early Years Blood Not So Simple The Early Filmmaking Career of the Two-Headed Director Part II The Seeds of Production: Origin of The Big Lebowski, an L.A. Story A Rug That Tied the Plot Together Welcome to the Hotel California: The Lebowski Characters as Elements of L.A. His Dudeness. Duder. El Duderino. The Three Faces of Walter Sobchak Maude Lebowski and the Fluxus Movement The Lebowski Cycle, by Joe Forkan The Anti-Hollywood: The Pornographers The Nihilists: Believing in “Nossing” Pot Culture and the Dude The Dude Rolls Evolution of the Style: The Retro Look of Brunswick Bowling and Googie Architecture The Wide World of Bowling Sports The Jetsons Styling of Googie Architecture Pulling the Disparate Pieces Together
Part IIIThe Making of The Big Lebowski Wordsmithing the Script Casting the Principal Players (The League) Jeff Bridges: The Elite Everyman, by Gail Levin The Lebowski Family Tree The Big Lebowski Production and Postproduction Scene Scrutiny: Micturating Thugs, Flying Carpets, and Dancing Landlords Roll Scenes I: The Dude’s Bungalow Cast Stories from the Bungalow Scenes Roll Scene II: The Thief of L.A. Roll Scene III: The Dance Moderne / Marty the Landlord’s “Cycle” Part IV Genre-bending The Big Lebowski as Period Piece The Dude’s Seinfeldian Lexical World, by Mark Peters The Big Lebowski as Musical What Happens When Kafka, Busby Berkeley, and Kenny Rogers Meet in a Bowling Alley The Big Dance Number On Music in The Big Lebowski, by Todd Martens The Big Lebowski as Western Once upon a Time in the Western: A Brief History of the Horse Opera, Oater, or Cowboy Picture Out of the Past: A Cowboy Dude The Big Lebowski as Noir The Muse: Raymond Chandler The Big Sleep-owski The Precursor: The Long Goodbye The Big Lebowski as . . . The Wizard of Oz? Part V The Release and Its Aftermath Initial Audience and Critical Reception The Rise of the Cult of The Big Lebowski A Superfan’s Story, by Roy Preston What Have You Rolling On, and On, and On Are You A Lebowski Achiever?: Awards and Acclaim Effect on Cast and Crew: Recognition, Résumés, and Renown What Makes a Cult Classic? Repeated Viewings: Am I Wrong? Am I Wrong? The Gospel According to the Dude: How The Big Lebowski Inspired a Religion, by Oliver Benjamin Quotability Quotient Part VI A.L.: The Coens after Lebowski
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