FAN PHENOMENA: THE BIG LEBOWSKI
BY ZACHARY INGLE
This book really is for the obsessive fans of The Big Lebowski film – of which there are thousands going by the name of Achievers or Dudeists.
I’m one of those, maybe not the most fanatical, but I love this movie dearly and have watched it over and over – and yeah I have my favourite quotes and catchphrases from it too (scroll down for my Top 5).
Rewind to 1998 when directors/ geniuses Joel and Ethan Coen first made this film, little would they have known then that the picture would go on to triple its budget in the box office, generate a cult following and even spawn a slow moving religion.
Many argue that Lebowski is the most significant cult film of the last 30 years and I tend to agree – can you think of another? Maybe, but I can’t.
The hilarious story of The Dude, a post-hippy slacker and his chum Walter – a violent, compulsive, bowling obsessed, Jewish convert, Vietnam veteran has inspired Lebowski conventions to spring up worldwide and the sheer wealth of related material and memorabilia out there is staggering.
And the reason? It’s not the plot. It’s the love of the dialogue or Dudespeak as it has become known. The exchanges between The Dude, Walter, Donny, Jesus, The Stranger and the rest of the superb cast are as good as movie writing gets.
One fan contributor to this book says; “it’s an amazing quotable movie that gets better every time you watch it. I’ve seen it over 100 times and I’ll never get sick of it.”
This fan phemonena book explores the nature of fandom as well as the intricacies of the plot, characters and particularly the dialogue. The movie’s themes of Nihilism, bowling and drug use are also analysed as is the music which plays a big part in this movie. Creedence, Dylan and Beefheart all feature and we all know The Dude hates the Eagles, man.
The notes of references and suggested further reading are interesting and exhibits how devout Dudeists are to The Big Lebowski. If you’ve seen the film and loved it, this book (although a little too detailed and involved) is for you, if you haven’t seen the film I’m convinced that you’ll love it. Then you can read this!
SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 7/10
MY TOP 5 QUOTES FROM THE BIG LEBOWSKI:
- The Dude: “Oh, you know, strikes and gutters, ups and downs”
- Walter: “Shomer fucking Shabbos”
- Walter: “Smokey, my friend, you are entering a world of pain”
- The Dude: “Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here!”
- Walter: “Forget it, Donny, you’re out of your element!”