The Big Lebowski (Bfi Film Classics)

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Since its release nearly ten years ago, The Big Lebowski has become a cult classic with a worldwide following, having survived the baffled reaction of many mainstream critics. Its fans tend to be fanatical, congregating at 'Lebowski Conventions' in bowling alleys across American and Britain, and even dressing up as characters from the film. Among the funniest films of the last twenty-five years, and one of the high-water marks of 1990s genre recycling and pastiche, The Big Lebowski is also littered with playful and subversive references to film history, especially to Raymond Chandler's world of hardboiled detective classics and the world of film noir. The Big Lebowski is the rarest kind of film, a comedy whose jokes become funnier with repetition. The same goes for its multitudinous jukebox-like references to other films, many of which open up vistas for intertextual interpretation. Underneath the film's breakneck pacing and foul-mouthed characters, a farcical collection of flakes, losers, and phonies, is a surprisingly humane account of what fools we mortals be. It is one of the oddest buddy films ever made, with extraordinary performances by Jeff Bridges and John Goodman. In this study, The Big Lebowski is set into the context of 1990s Hollywood cinema, anatomised for its witty relationship with the classics which it satirises, and discussed in terms of its key theme: the hopeless flailing of ridiculously unmanly men in the world of discombobulated, mixed-up, or put-on identities that is Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • Series: BFI Film Classics
  • Paperback: 123 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute (June 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844571734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844571734
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

"Sometimes there’s a man…"

20 people found this helpful.
 on December 9, 2007
By Dash Manchette
Sometimes there’s a man who just fits in to his time and place. And of course, it is the Dude, the Little Lebowski, we are talking about here. Although it was a flop at the box office, The Big Lebowski is now deservedly a cult classic, with a following to match that of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Just in my hometown of Cleveland recently there was a Lebowski bowl-a-thon preceding a midnight showing of the movie.

A splendid introduction to one of the great films of the past two decades

7 people found this helpful.
 on January 17, 2011
By Robert Moore
I saw THE BIG LEBOWSKI when it first came out and thought it one of the best comedies that I had seen in ages. The past decade plus of one of the weakest periods in American comic film makes you appreciate the Coen Brothers’ masterpiece more than ever. Most comic films today seem to imitate Jud Apatow’s brainless output, where comedy seems to consist of bad sex jokes, ceaseless profanity, and perpetual laughing at others’ embarrassment.

Overall quite good

10 people found this helpful.
 on February 5, 2008
By tallguy
Overall, this is quite a nice book. If you are at least a casual fan of the movie (i.e., have seen it more than twice) you will probably enjoy it. If you are an avid fan of the movie you MUST read it. The authors make several great observations of the film’s props, dialogue, double entendres, et al. that even an avid fan surely missed, even after multiple viewings. They also make a lot of interesting comparisons of The Big Lebowski to film history (including past Coen Brothers’ films). The text is ripe with full-frame stills from this film and those that it is compared to.

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