The Dude Abides

The Big Lebowski

US flag The Big Lebowski 1998

A perfect film. I’m not a Coen Brothers fan. But ever since I first saw part of The Big Lebowski on television I’ve been a fan of this film.

It’s difficult to imagine the Brothers Coen setting out to make a masterpiece, so I guess it can be chalked up to luck or The Force or whatever. A perfect slice of modern life. Witty, clever, nimble. There’s an element of advanced weirdness here. The Dude, a perfect derelict — The Dude abides, man. Smoking dope, bowling, drinking White Russians… suddenly two thugs break into The Dude’s humble abode (The Dude’s abode, man) and in an unfriendly manner query unto him “WHERE’S THE MONEY, LEBOWSKI?” while dunking his head in the commode. Not pleasant.

The story is convoluted and possibly not of as much importance as the weird characters and the brilliant dialog and situations the characters find themselves in. Advanced weirdness. The Dude soon finds himself in way over his head, doing his best to fathom it all — “This aggression will not stand, man” — it’s a terrific ride, it really is. John Goodman is hysterical as the deranged Viet Nam vet. Sam Elliott as… the narrator? God? The human spirit? …gives the picture a nice little nudge which sends it into the next dimension. A little cosmic seal of approval.

See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I’ll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I’ll find
Just where the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

I know when night has gone
That a new world’s born at dawn.

I’ll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.


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