On my way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas last week, Virgin America had one of the low-key best movies I’ve ever seen in the in-flight entertainment. It’s a certified cult classic that gets better with time. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: The Big Lebowski.
How I first came across this moment? I came across the film in the Summer of 1998. The 13-year-old version of myself was spending much of that summer with my father and he had all of the pay-per-view and premium cable channels on that descrambler. I remember checking out The Big Lebowski on HBO.
What it meant to me then? In my initial viewing of the film, I was intrigued by Jeff Bridge’s character, “The Dude”. He embodied all of the typical California stoner stereotypes. I loved how his friends—Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi)—rode hard for him. That trampoline scene with the topless chick was a bit of an exciting touch for me too.
What it means to me now? I didn’t really start appreciating the film for what it really was until around 2005. That’s when I came to fully understand the plot. I also gained a deeper appreciation for Julianne Moore’s Maude Lebowski…even the whole nude vaginal art thing she had going on. Today, it’s one of those films that I definitely stop and watch when I see it on television. I should stop denying myself and just cop it off of Amazon and add it to my film library. For my money, The Big Lebowski is the best work to date by the Coen brothers…just a tad bit better than O Brother, Where Are Thou? and light years ahead of Fargo.