Today's story "The Dude Zen and Now" is mostly about the spirit of The Big Lebowski character and secondly about the Lebowski Fest event at Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley Saturday night.
It's thirdly about the Coen brothers' movie from which all this nonsense sprang 15 years ago.
What follows are five favorite scenes mentioned in the article.
5.) Sometimes there's a man . . .
What's great about the 1998 movie's opening is that Sam Elliott's Stranger voiceover, the lilting "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds" background music, The Dude's very, well, dudeness in the grocery store and his dingy apartment, and the violent and hilarious encounter with clueless thugs perfectly set up everything that is to follow.
4.) Busby Berkeleyesque "Gutterballs" sequence . . .
Now, I must admit, I am no fan of "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," but the Kenny Rodgers & The First Edition song befits The Dude's era of coming into his own as well as this tripped-out dream of a Jackie Treehorn porno starring El Duderino and Maude Lebowski Legend has it the ladies with legs spread played a trick on Jeff Bridges by stuffing wigs into their panties.
3.) Nihilists with a marmot . . .
When that critter hits the water of The Dude's tub, I could feel my own balls being permanently scarred. But what you've got to love about the scene--and The Dude, for that matter--is how unexcited he is when these Kraftwerk rejects first burst into his apartment, start breaking his shit and release the furball into the bathroom. (The Dude's reaction: "Nice marmot!"). Had the joint he'd been smoking mellowed him out? Couldn't hurt.
2.) Jesus Quintana . . .
I bet if you polled a crowd of people who'd seen this flick about the scene they most remember, the majority would mention the ball-licking, strike-throwing, dance-punctuating sequence featuring the helluva bowler/pederast played by John Turturro, who floats to the Gypsy Kings' take on "Hotel California." OK, so maybe the most-cited scene would be the one where John Goodman yells, "Do you see what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!" The point is: the look on Jesus' face at the end, when a burly guy opens the door to hear his court-mandated disclosure to neighbors of being a sex offender, is priceless.
1.) "The Dude abides" . . .
There are several reasons this is numero uno. First and foremost, check out that it is one long scene with no cuts, perhaps not as impressive as Orson Welles' original, unedited Touch of Evil opening, but still pretty damn jaw-dropping considering all the moving parts the Coen brothers were dealing with. The oft-cited exchange between The Dude and The Stranger, who would go on to look into the camera and go on and on, is a nice capper. But we're adding extra credit for "The Dude abides" business being framed on both ends by master bowler Barry Asher, who owns and operates the Fountain Bowl pro, rolling strikes.
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LEBOWSKI FEST LA BOWLING PARTY AT FOUNTAIN BOWL, 17110 BROOKHURST ST., FOUNTAIN VALLEY WITH BARRY ASHER, JIM HOOSIER "AND POSSIBLY MORE." SATURDAY, 7-11 P.M. $25-$30. LEBOWSKIFEST.COM.
- The Dude: Zen and Now: The Weekly celebrates Matt Coker's Mr. Lebowski man-crush
- Joe Forkan's 'The Lebowski Cycle' Art Show Does Not Abide
- KCBS Falls For The Big Lie-bowski