Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lots of Lebowski

Something about the 1998 film The Big Lebowski inspires not just repeated viewings but repeated books about the  film. I finished reading another one of them a couple days ago, namely The Big Lebowski: An Illustrated, Annotated History of the Greatest Cult Film of All Time by Jenny M. Jones. Just in my personal library I find The Big Lebowski:The Making of a Coen Brothers Film, I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You, Two Gentlemen of LebowskiThe Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, The Coen Brothers: The Life of the Mind and Coen Brothers. The latter three books discuss Coen a Brothers films in general. And a few nights ago I watched the movie yet again. Maybe that's what makes a cult film: it's one you just can't get enough of.

Like The Wizard of Oz and It's a Wonderful Life, among others, The Big Lebowski was not a hit when it was first released. Critics panned it. Moviegoers ignored it. I'm proud to say I got it the first the first time I saw it with my son in a south Pittsburgh theater, although I'm not at all certain why I liked it as much as I did. It has many things I don't normally like in movies, including loads of f-words and Jeff Bridges. But I loved The Big Lebowski from the first, and still do.

The Jones book, suitable for Christmas gifts and coffee tables, is a gem, filled with discussions of just about anything you might want to know about the movie, plus lots of illustrations.

Is The Big Lebowski a detective story, a western, a musical, a sports movie or an offbeat comedy. Jones answers yes to all these questions. She views it as a remake of The Big Sleep, The Searchers and even The Wizard of Oz. The Wizard of Oz? I guess I'll just have to watch it again.

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