Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Dude Who Abides

    The Big Lebowski, labeled a cult classic, is a comedy crime film written and directed by the Coen Brothers team.
    The film centers around a character known as The Dude. The Dude doesn't do much. When police ask him what he does for a living he responds that he's currently unemployed. He mostly lays in the bath tub and gets high. And he goes bowling.
 Jeff Bridges' character, who gets confused with a businessman also named Lebowski, is given a desire. He wants to fix his rug. It's one little want. It's one little need. The Dude is mostly propelled through the movie by the plans and schemes from business men to nihilist. But the promise of the rug, the one that pulled the room together, that keeps The Dude moving. It's relatable. Viewers are lazy. We don't want to do things.
    I added The Big Lebowski to my lookbook for a few different reasons. Firstly I love Roger Deakins and think he creates beautiful images out of simple character placements. Secondly, The Dude doesn't do a whole lot. Rather, like Andrew, things are mostly done to him. And for whatever reason this tires him out. Even though he's along for the ride he hates the journey. 
     Plus the Dude learns from his surroundings. He repeats the things other characters say. And he the solution to his problems come in a drug laced dreamed sequence. Which is an effective form of visual storytelling.

The Big Lebowski is a cult classic because each time you watch it there's a new joke. The high stakes create a lot of tension and juxtaposition of the calmness that often follows. The Coen Brothers show us a dramatic money hand off that failed. They ostensibly cut from John Goodman jumping out of a moving car to Steve Buscemi bowling. The Dude's enemies include nihilists and Jesus the bowler. The movie sets up and deceives are expectations, the hallmark of comedy.
    The Big Lebowski is about a man just trying to get vengeance for his rug. He's The Dude.

1 comment:

arturo said...

The devil is in the details...