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Late Shift Cinema: The Big Lebowski

Late Shift Cinema: The Big Lebowski

Dan Bernardi
[intro-text size=”25px”]Twice a month, Cleveland Cinemas plays host to the Late Shift Series, a collection of classic and beloved films that have achieved cult status among fanatic cinephiles. Teaming up with Melt Bar & Grilled, the Cedar Lee and Capitol theaters bring us the chance to watch our favorite flicks up on the big screen in all of their intended glory.[/intro-text]

This weekend, the Dude abides.

Saturday December 5th at 9:30 PM and midnight, Cedar Lee Theater really ties the room together with the 1998 Coen Brothers classic, The Big Lebowski. In case you missed this totally fantastic stoner-noir comedy, I’ll catch you up to speed. Jeff Bridges stars as Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski, our lovable pot smoking, White Russian drinking, free-loving protagonist who, due to a case of mistaken identity, gets embroiled in a twisty kidnapping plot that’s way out of his slacker pay grade. Naturally, hijinx ensue as the Dude weaves through a tangled web of sex, lies, violence and bowling.

The Coen Brothers  are possibly one of the greatest film making duos of all time (Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, No Country For Old Men), and this film is another smash hit for them. A stellar blend of both their typical crime driven plots and off-beat humor, The Big Lebowski stands out as one of their most fun and outlandish cinematic offerings, and the only thing that outshines the Coens’ killer script is the actors performing it. Jeff Bridges is the Dude, a role he was legitimately born for, and even though it’s his show, the rest of the cast do their best to steal it. John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro; each of them gleam in their supporting roles.

But why after a mere seventeen years has The Big Lebowski become such a cult classic? Why have some devoted people come to base their life philosophy on the ways of the Dude? There are several elements that make it a truly special film. Perhaps the countless memorable quotes have kept the movie relevant and referenced, even in the parlance of our time. And sure, everyone loves to kick with a little vodka drink or an herbal relaxant and hang out with some friends. But is there something deeper? Personally, I think the Dude, regardless of the chaos about him, has a way of bringing out the inner-zen of each individual viewer, which leads to a very peaceful state of being. But, well, that’s just like, my opinion, man.

Drop into Cedar Lee this Saturday to check out The Big Lebowski and see what condition your condition is in.

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