director Joel Coen
Kind of interesting that the Coen brothers followed up what is potentially their most deftest and least ornate films, Fargo (1996), with one of their most rococo and labyrinthine efforts, the now legendary cult hit, The Big Lebowski.
Actually, it’s so replete with disparate elements, from German nihilists-cum-electronic musicians through Busby Berkeley-inspired bowling-themed dream sequences, the Gulf War, pornographers and pedophiles, all wrapped up in washed up stoner comic interpretations of Raymond Chandler and modern Los Angeles.
When I first saw it in 1998, I honestly didn’t get it. It seemed like a bizarre mixture of things that simply failed to pan out. But it wasn’t more than a year later, on a second viewing on cable that it became clear what a comic gem this film is. So I didn’t sit unenlightened for too long. Nowadays, it’s not just a cult film but a classic and Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski is a transcendent icon of cinema. And line after line of the movie is quotable enough to crack up the guy next to you.
I watched it this time, the first time in more than a decade, with my 14 year old son, who is developing an interest in cinema. He liked it a lot. So he’s up on me for first time through assessments.