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Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

 

The Big Lebowski at the Baghdad

For some strange reason, KUFO hosted a midnight screening of The Big Lebowski at the Baghdad on Cinco de Mayo. I headed over there with "Cuponoodles" and, after getting a bite to eat at what could be McMenamins' weirdest tavern yet, The Back Stage, we walked to the back of a line stretching down Hawthorne.

A surprisingly large turnout and some members of the crowd came in costume. One couple donned bathrobes, a girl arrived in a golden viking outfit complete with a trident and a guy with a beard, who was later spotted passing out on a bench near the bathroom, came dressed as Walter. Another guy claming he was dressed as Smokey stormed the stage during the DJs' intro.

The Big Lebowski is a flim best enjoyed in a room full or drunks and goes down even better while in a historic theater full of drunks. The tavern next door was ill-prepared for a rush on White Russians and ran out of cream 15 minutes into the movie. I was hoping to buy a double but had to make due with a regular-sized "beverage."

I've seen The Big LebowskI a few dozen times now and it's become one of those movies I can almost quote verbatim. I've only had the pleasure of seeing it once before in a theater and that was back during its original release. Maybe it was due to the Baghdad's enormous screen but I noticed these random bits for the first time:


  • The Dude scribbles September 11th on a check in the film's first scene. Spooky.


  • When Jesus reaches for a bowling ball, he reveals a long, sharpened fingernail on the pinky of his left hand that's painted purple. What's that all about?

  • Indeed, Jeff Bridges never actually bowls during the movie.


  • "I can't say I've never seen London and I ain't never seen France and I ain't never seen no queen in her dammed undies, so the feller says." Finally got this one. It's the old kid's rhyme, "I see London, I see France..."


  • As good as The Big Lebowski is, I wish the ending could have been "bigger." The final confrontation between the Dude, his team and the nihilists is too brief. I would have preferred a full-on battle royale that extended into the bowling alley itself. Bullets bouncing off of pins and a Good, the Bad and the Ugly stand-off between the Dude's crew, Jesus and the Nihilists. Just as Donnie keels over, Sam Elliot's character could have abandoned his sarsaparilla at the bar, hog tied Jesus and bowled him down one of the lanes. That would have flippin' glorious.

    Or incredibly stupid and lame. Fine, the movie is great as it is. Here's an incredibly blurry cell phone photo of the girl in the viking outfit:




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