Friday, August 22, 2008

The Big Lebowski - 10th Anniversary Limited Edition

If you're a fan of the film "The Big Lebowski," then there is a chance you know the 10th anniversary is arriving, and so is a special re-release of the film. I'm spoke with many people who have not seen them film - thinking it was about bowling - only to learn that they enjoyed the film after watching it. In the past, my argument is that the film isn't about bowling. Yet, the new re-release has the DVDs in a bowling ball case. Okay, I still hold my ground. It isn't about bowling. In fact, it is pretty much about everything but bowling. It just so happens that the Dude (Jeff Bridges) enjoys bowling - it is his Zen.

The new release is a limited edition (at least in the bowling ball case), and includes a 2nd special edition DVD. If you're into the brevity thing, then the DVD can be purchased at 1/2 price without the special case.

If you haven't seen this film, and don't intend to purchase the DVD, then at the very least, rent it. Watch it with an open mind. And then re-watch it to find all of the clever aspects. Even figure placement (the characters and how they are staged) is playful. Of the three key characters in the film, one is always on the "right" one is always on the "left" and one in the "middle." Oddly, there seems to be some political banter that goes with these characters. Of course, all of them are caricatures - hyperbolic. But that is what makes the film entertaining. Among the various aspects of the film are two characters named Lebowski. One seems to be a left-0ver hippy, and the other a successful businessman. There is more to both of these characters than the fact they share the same last name. Naturally, this mirror-reflection trick speaks volumes in the film.

Yes, there is bowling in the film. This seems the be the route that the film company has taken to promote the film. But The Big Lebowski is much more than that. I won't say he's a hero, because what's a hero? But sometimes there's a man. And I'm talking about the Dude here. Sometimes there's a man who . . . he's the man for his time and place, he fits right in there - and that's the Dude.

Opening voice over from the script:

A way out west there was a fella,
fella I want to tell you about, fella
by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At
least, that was the handle his lovin'
parents gave him, but he never had
much use for it himself. This
Lebowski, he called himself the Dude.
Now, Dude, that's a name no one would
self-apply where I come from. But
then, there was a lot about the Dude
that didn't make a whole lot of sense
to me. And a lot about where he
lived, like- wise. But then again,
maybe that's why I found the place
s'durned innarestin'.


Stewart Sternberg said...

The thing that draws me in to Lebowski with each viewing is the eccentricity of the characters. Jesus, for instance, the bowling madman and sex offender who is legally compelled to go door to door in his neighborhood to announce his presence; Maude Lebowski, the extreme artist whose work is "highly vaginal" (can you say vagina???);Torsten Voges , a nihilist with an hysterical German accent.

By the way, a new Coen Brothers film is on the horizon, I believe. Sign me up.

Charles Gramlich said...

I finally got around to watching this with my wife, who is a big fan. I thought it was decent but didn't fall in love with it. Interesting characters, for sure, but I don't consider myself a huge fan.

Cairo said...

the dude abides.

William Jones said...

Stewart - The film is filled with little things. No two viewers are ever the same for me.

Charles - Cheers to your wife, Charles! You clearly haven't seen the film enough times. ;)

Cairo - The Dude is the man.

Anonymous said...

excellent excellent film. makes me want to jump on a trampoline

Allan Tong said...

Was your bowling ball numbered on the bottom? Mine wasn't.