DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Big Lebowski

THE BIG LEBOWSKI, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, 1998, (c) Gramercy Pictures/courtesy Everett Collectio

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Grab your bowling balls and a White Russian because here are a few facts about The Big Lebowski that really tie the room together.

1. The Dude is based on a real guy.

The Coen Brothers primarily based the Dude (played by Jeff Bridges) on a man named Jeff Dowd, who helped distribute their first film, Blood Simple, in 1984. Like the stoner character in the movie, Dowd was a member of the anti-war group the Seattle Seven and actually called himself “The Dude.”


2. Other bits of the movie were also inspired by real life.

Peter Exline, a screenwriting consultant and film professor at USC and good friend of the Coens, told the pair various stories from his own life that found their way into the movie. For example, he had a rug in his living room that “tied the room together” and he once found a child’s homework in his car after it had been stolen.


3. The Coen Brothers look out for their friends.

John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and John Turturro’s characters were written specifically for them. Including The Big Lebowski, both Buscemi and Goodman have appeared in six Coen Brothers movies, while Turturro has appeared in four.


4. Julianne Moore’s character is based on a real-life artist.

Maude was modeled after visual and performance artist Carolee Schneemann.


5. Early drafts revealed the Dude’s source of income.

He was supposed to be the heir to the Rubik’s Cube fortune.


6. The Dude has some biblical dialogue.

The famous line “the Dude abides” was taken from the bible verse Ecclesiastes 1:4, which reads, “One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the Earth abides forever.”


7. The Dude plays guitar… in real life.

Actor Jeff Bridges plays guitar in a band called The Abiders, which is named after a reference to the above mentioned “the Dude abides” line from the movie.


8. The movie inspired its own festival.

First held in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2002, the “Lebowski Fest” has since been held in over 30 cities multiple times each year. Festivities include screenings of the movie, costume and trivia contests, all-night bowling, copious amounts of White Russians, and appearances by the film’s actors, including Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Julianne Moore, and Peter Stormare.

9. The costume department didn’t have to look far for the Dude’s wardrobe.

Bridges provided most of his own clothes (including the Jellie sandals).

Team Coco

Team Coco


10. Donny (Steve Buscemi) might be having an identity crisis.

All of his personalized bowling shirts show different—non-Donny—names.


11. The Dude spawned his own religion.

According to its official website, the core tenet of Dudeism is that “everything is just, like, your opinion, man.” You can also join the ranks of the over 220,000 Dudeist ministers ordained worldwide.


12. The Dude has his own store in New York City.

The Little Lebowski Shop is solely sells memorabilia from the movie.

Flavorwire

Flavorwire


13. The Coens had fun with Jesus’s (John Tuturro) musical cues.

A Spanish-language version of The Eagles’ “Hotel California” by the Gipsy Kings can be heard during the scene where Jesus is introduced. And, as we all know, the Dude hates the Eagles.


14. The bowling alley was real.

The bowling alley scenes were shot at the Hollywood Star Lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Little Lebowski Urban Achievers looking to bowl a few frames are out of luck: The building was demolished in 2003 to make way for a new elementary school. Weirdly enough, the Dude is never seen actually bowling in the entire movie.


15. The bowling shots were tricky to capture.

To get the POV shots of the bowling balls rolling down the lanes, the camera was mounted on a specialized RC car chassis that reached speeds of 20mph and followed actual balls that were bowled on set.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.