August 6th, 2012: The Big Lebowski (1998)

Cast and Crew:   Joel and Ethan Coen (Directors, Writers, Producers, Editors); Carter Burwell (Original Music); Roger Deakins (Cinematographer); Juilanne  Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Peter Stormare, Flea, John Turturro, Sam Elliot, Jon Polito, Aimee Mann, Ben Gazzara

What It’s About: Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski is an amiable former student radical/former Metallica roadie stoner just trying to get by in George H.W. Bush’s America.  Mistaking him for “the Big Lebowski”, wealthy invalid Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston), thugs knock The Dude unconscious and take his rug as compensation for gambling debts owed by The Big Lebowski’s wife, former porn star Bunny Lebowski (Tara Reid).  Goaded into seeking compensation for his loss by his friend Walter (John Goodman), The Dude soon finds himself embroiled in kidnapping, ransom drops, nihilists, embezzlers, modern art, German synth bands, bowling, porn producers, Malibu cops, and private detectives.

Why Watch it Today?:  When The Big Lebowski was released in 1998, its “period” setting seemed inexplicable, but provided the wonderful soundbite-turned-repeated-dialogue:  “This aggression will not stand“, spoken today in 1990 by George H. W. Bush.

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