Thursday, February 16, 2006

LOGJAMMIN' AT LEBOWSKI FEST WEST 2006



Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I know where I'm going to be on Saturday, March 4-- in Lakewood, California, that's where, sipping white Russians and deconstructing the screenwriting style of one Arthur Digby Sellers (You know... Branded? "All but one man died there at Bitter Creek"?) with as many no-accounts and Coen-heads as can fit into the Cal Bowl in Lakewood for the 7th Annual Lebowski Fest West, celebrating all things substantial and tangential to the Coen Brothers brilliant 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski. (Yes, even this.) There's a pre-party at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood the night before, but clearly the place to be is gonna be the Cal Bowl on Saturday night. Of course, there are always rumors about celebrities from the movie attending, and this year is no different, but if you're gonna get all excited about maybe tipping a sarsaparilla with Sam Elliot, trading photography stories with Jeff Bridges, pitching a script to Philip Seymour Hoffman, or getting your toenails painted by Tara Reid, you'd best scale your expectations down a bit. Jeff "the Dude" Dowd and Peter Exline, the real-life inspirations for the Dude and Walter, will be appearing at the Knitting Factory, and it's reasonable to think they might find their way down to Lakewood as well (although I'm not sure I could handle sharing a lane with the real Walter Sobchak.) And the good folks at Lebowski Fest 2006 have confirmed appearances by Jim Hoosier (Liam, the Jesus's teammate), Robin Jones (sullen Ralph's checkout girl), bowling technical consultant Barry Asher and even Edie McClurg, who had not one thing to do with The Big Lebowski, but who is a tremendously good sport and loads of fun and who has given up her Saturday evening to spend it with a bunch of drunken film fans who may or may not even know who she is.
(Maybe I'll throw her a curve and ask her about Brian De Palma and Carrie-- "Edie, do you ever lay awake at night regretting having treated Sissy Spacek so badly?")





This event sold out faster than you could toss a marmot into a bathtub last year, so if you're a fan of the film, or perhaps just a very interested, very brave sociologist who can't get a date for March 4, you might want to consider getting your tickets now. I'll be there dressed as Walter (if I can find my hunting vest) to my pal Stoogeking's Dude, and we're hoping to drag a few likeminded travelers to tumble with the tumblin' tumbleweeds right alongside us that night. Remember, you can say what you like about the tenets of Lebowski Fest 2006, but at least it's an ethos. Come see the ethos get tipsy, drop 15-pound bowling balls on their tender feet, and luxuriate in a bowling alley full of fellow Lebowski-heads on that very special night in Lakewood March 4.

Yet another bit of Lebowskiana: Here's some tomfoolery by way of GreenCine Daily called Sizing Up Lebowski, a peek inside the LebowskiFest phenomenon. You may want to take a look at this before buying your tickets, especially if your favorite Coen Brothers movie is The Ladykillers...

10 comments:

Roscoe said...

How much is it?... I'd love to go but I doubt I can afford it.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Looks like you'll have to drop $25 to get in to the bowling alley.

aaron w graham said...

Sounds like a hell of a time, Dennis! Edie McClurg's attending because she thinks Lebowski is a righteous dude.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

And she's right, MGM, don'tcha know! I saw her on an AIDS walk years ago and, completely against my own nature, I just blurted out, "Hey, Edie! How are ya?" as if I'd known her for years. And she was just as friendly and upbeat as you might expect from all her TV and movie appearances. Seemed like a very sweet lady, and she probably had people talking to her like I did all day long that day. And I am gonna ask her about Carrie if I see her at the bowling alley!

aaron w graham said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
aaron w graham said...

Her small role in CARRIE completely slipped my mind, but I'd love to hear what she has to say about it. Please report back on the evening's festivities after the fact. I'm surely not the only one who would love to read about the fest.

I recently watched the all too few extras on the new FERRIS BUELLER dvd (hence my comment above), and McClurg took part. It's a testament to just how good an improviser she is that her written-as small role as Rooney's Secretary was beefed up in the finished film.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I promise to take lots of hopefully not too incriminating pictures and write up a hopefully not too incriminating report when all this is but a hazy, bitter memory. And I totally missed the Ferris Bueller reference. It's my creeping, crippling old age rearing its head again, I'm afraid!

That Little Round-Headed Boy said...

Dennis — I look forward to your report. I am insanely jealous beyond belief. I only have one question: Can you get me a toe?
Oddly enough, in the way that all Lebowski things converge, as I write this to you a certain toeless, pancake-lovin' blonde nihilist is appearing in concert in my humble burg. I'm kicking myself for not going. To compensate, perhaps, I just today bought a copy of "The Last American Hero" starring a certain, well, you wouldn't call him a guy, but a dude...

Sharon said...

Dare I admit that when I saw this film at Sundance, I fell asleep? Granted, it was either the fourth or fifth of the seven movies we saw in two and a half days, but I think that had it engaged me I would have managed to stay awake. Because many people I respect love this movie, I do think I'll revisit it someday, but I suspect it may once again put me right to sleep.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

TLRHB: Your invocation of the Cowboy's description of our shaggy antihero reminded me yet again of how utterly extraneous to the "plot", and yet how so important to the tone of TBL is Sam Elliot. I knew I was in for something special at the very beginning when the Cowboy, in that drawling narration, intoned:

"They call Los Angeles the City of Angels. I didn't find it to be that, exactly, but I'll allow it as there are some nice folks there. Course, I can't say I seen London, and I never been to France, and I ain't never seen no queen in her damn undies, as the fella says. But I'll tell you what-- after seein' Los Angeles in this here story I'm about to unfold-- well, I guess I seen somethin' ever' bit as stupefyin' as you'd see in any of those other places, and in English too, so I can die with a smile on my face witout feelin' like the good Lord gypped me."

I will raise a white Russian to you on March 4.

Sharon: I think what you need to do is buy a ticket!