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Friday, January 29

 (1997) “This is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.” Stoner and avid bowler Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) can’t figure out who soiled his Persian rug and why (“it really tied the room together”) but – egged on by his gung-ho Vietnam vet buddy Walter (John Goodman) – he winds his way through Los Angeles in search of answers, leading him to another, girthier Lebowski (David Huddleston), his nymphomaniac wife (Tara Reid) and unctuous assistant (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a performance artist (Julianne Moore), a porn emperor (Ben Gazzara), and a band of German nihilists. With Steve Buscemi as the Dude’s clueless pal Donnie and John Turturro as a purple-clad bowling champ named Jesus. 35mm. Approx. 117 mins.


“Immensely inventive and entertaining… a prime example of the Coens' effortless brand of stylistic and storytelling brilliance. Thanks to Roger Deakins' gleaming camerawork, T-Bone Burnett's eclectic soundtrack selection and the Coens' typically pithy dialogue, it looks and sounds wonderful. Moreover, far from being shallow pastiche, it's actually about something: what it means to be a man, to be a friend, and to be a 'hero' for a particular time and place.”
– Geoff Andrew, Time Out

“A cubist comedy concocted by the irrepressible Coen brothers out of bits and pieces of the old and the new, the black and the blue, the profound and the profane, in a portion of Los Angeles where hyper-reality collides with hyper-gaucherie.”
– Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

“Soon after the Gulf War filled the airwaves with such Orwellian obscenities as “collateral damage,” the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, tuned into the martial mood and rummaged through political and personal history for the underpinnings of this Los Angeles caper, from 1998, sending up, with rueful astonishment, the American way of war.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Film Forum