Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Lebowski Fest 2009, which kicks off with a special screening and live music event at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on May 7 followed by bowling night May 8 at Cal Bowl in Lakewood, which will be the scene of wild costumes, trivia contests, unlimited bowling and reenactments from Joel and Ethan Coen's The Big Lebowski.
No one could have fathomed the lightly attended stoner-noir of 1998 would still be remembered, let alone that its central character, The Dude, would become the patron saint of slackerdom, that friends Will Russell and Scott Shuffitt would throw a bowling party in honor of their favorite movie and be completely overwhelmed by the response, and that the whole thing would morph into a full-blown movement whose annual festival has brought out The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges (donning the Jelly sandals he wore in the film), Peter "Uli Kunkel/Karl Hungus" Stormare and the big Lebowski himself, David Huddleston. According to the LF website:
The first one took place on October 12, 2002, at a bowling alley in Louisville, Kentucky. Russell and Shuffitt posted flyers around town, expecting 20 or so of their friends to show up. Instead, Lebowski loyalists flocked from all around, and a revolution was born.
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Followers call themselves "Achievers." Do you know who else was an achiever and bowler? Orange County's disgraced favorite son Richard Nixon, who occupies a hallowed spot in the middle of the official 2006 Lebowski Fest poster (above). Another version features a take on another iconic image, Shepard Fairey's Obey graphic, only this one shows The Dude above the command, "Abide."
In case you missed The Big Lebowski when it first came out, was shown multiple times on cable or failed to get delivered via NetFlix into your mail box, the flick revolves around The Dude, an enthusiast of bowling, the herb and a rug that ties a rooms together. He gets caught up in a mistaken-identity caper because he shares the same name--Lebowski--as a wheelchair-bound LA power broker who is being blackmailed. This plunges the Dude into the local porn, avant-garde art and visiting German nihilist scenes--in hilarious, toe-severing, Shabbos-violating, bong-toking and White Russian- and sarsaparilla-slurping fashion.
I did hate to see Donny go, though.