Gothamist is certainly a big fan of Joel and Ethan Coen's classic THE BIG LEBOWSKI, but we are wondering if people are taking it a bit too far.

We noticed that The Onion is feting it this week in their film series over at the Anthology Film Archives. They have been resuscitating slightly older films in this manner for a few months now. We have no problem with this.

What has us slightly more perplexed is the Lebowski Festival that will be blowing through town August 13 & 14. We first noticed this event was taking place because it came up in the "top selling" section on Ticketweb. A few days later, we received an email from Jeff "the Dude" Dowd, that the Jeff Bridges character is based on. Here is what he wrote:

When I was invited to the Lebowski Festival last year I was hesitant to go because I was concerned that it was a bunch of weirdo Treky types. I remembered the famous William Shatner appearance on Saturday Night Live when he did the Treky Convention skit and he told them to “Get a life.” As it turns out the folks who go to Lebowski Festival do have lives and are smart enough with a sense of irony to appreciate the humor of Joel and Ethan Coen. The Lebowski Fest was a gas!

People from 35 states gathered to have fun—lots of it! They are better drinkers than they are bowlers and cool conversationalists. There were school teachers from Chicago, three generations of a Latino family from San Diego, college kids from Boston, a doctor from Philly, brokers from Wall Street, a nurse from Minneapolis, a fisherwoman from Alaska and a soldier from Iraq. On Friday they have a party with music and then show THE BIG LEBOWSKI. There were 4,000 people outside along the riverfront in Louisville. Then on Saturday they gather at a bowling alley and hang. That topped out at about 1,200 capacity. Most don’t dress up, but about 200 people were in costumes which ranged from the expected—Maude, Walter, Donnie, the Dude and Jesus to the very inventive: Moses and Jesus (“10,000 years of Jewish tradition from Moses to Jesus”), two women in towels (“we just came by to use the shower”), a women covered by “the Dude’s rug,” a guy a an 7 foot tall 8 track Creedence Clearwater Revival tape, the Seattle Seven (bowling team), the Dance quintet, etc. I asked a guy whose was in army fatigues with mud on his face what he was—“I’m the guy who died face down in the muck in Nam.”

As you may know, I do have a reputation for partying occasionally—from Woodstock to Seattle and Sundance to Cannes. The Lebowski Fest is as friendly and as good as it gets. Check out the Website especially the photos and music from the past Festivals.

And if you haven’t seen The Big Lebowski for awhile watch it again and you may see as Francois Truffaut remarks in “Close Encounters”: It’s a phenomenon socialogique.”

I hope you will join us.



We know Jeff Dowd personally, but are still skeptical. The New York version of the fest includes a pre-party on Friday, August 13 at the Knitting Factory, featuring music by Bling Kong, The Trouble With Sweeney, AM Sunday, SKL as "Autobahn", and Medina Sod. Plus an appearance by The Squallis Pupeteers and Jeff "The Dude" Dowd. The music will start at 9pm and the film will screen at midnight. Tickets are $15.

Then the real event happens on Saturday, August 14 at the Cozy Bowl (yes, bowling alley) in Queens. The day includes bowling, white russians, oat sodas, costume & triva contests and an appearance by "The Dude."

If you're still on the fence (as we are) as to whether this event is worth the sticker price, you might consider brushing up on the film at this week's screening (which is followed by free Stella Artois). It happens Thursday, July 22 at 7pm & 10pm at the Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Avenue), $8.