The very first time I saw The Big Lebowski, I hated it. I think it was my "male time of the month," or something. Many moons (and White Russians) later I tell people that it's my all-time favorite movie. Besides The Jerk, of course, "The Dude" won me over.
The 2011 Lebowski Fest held at Fort Wayne's Indiana Tech (which housed both a movie theatre and a bowling alley) parlayed a certain syncronicity in the air. Like Phil Collins. Something in the air. Just a bunch of people present to embrace the cult classic and all of the fun details the Coens put into their film.
The catalyst of my change? Me. I think. You know when you watch a movie, but you're really not in the mood? OK, bad phrasing. Every time I watch the film (including web clips and YouTubes), I love it more and more. The characters. Oh, the characters. The Jesus. Walter. The Dude. Need I say more? Classic.
One of my buddies dressed up like Walter. He bonded with a Donnie and yet another Duderino. Another buddy didn't dress up at all, but still had a ton of fun. We met some other "Dudes" and bumped into a few more, say it with me: "Dudes."
"You want a toe? I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon. With nail polish."
By the way, what exactly is a Lebowski Fest? Check Wikipedia here.
I've grabbed several other Lebowski Fest videos off YouTube that I thought were "dude-worthy," and pasted them below.
This first one is from the 2008 Lebowski Fest in Louisville, KY.
This one is a huge bowling party — looks like fun!
Also, A.O. Scott's synopsis of the movie and review for The New York Times.
The last one is a small clip of the Lebowski Fest held in Fort Wayne earlier this year.