Monday, October 24, 2005

The Dude

Yes, I am going to be The Dude for Halloween. And, yes, I am totally excited about it.

These are so much fun to read; had to share.

Trivia for The Big Lebowski (from IMDB, of course)

*It proved impossible to get Walter's satchel of dirty undies to arc the right way when it was thrown out of the window of the Dude's car so the shot was filmed in reverse with an off-screen crew member throwing the briefcase towards the car while the stunt driver drove backwards.
*A lot of the Dude's clothes in the movie were 'Jeff Bridges' 's own clothes.
*The Dude never actually bowls.
*Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman makes a background cameo appearance during the interpretive dance scene as another member of the theater audience. Kaufman's own script, Being John Malkovich (1999), also contains an interpretive dance sequence.
*Almost all the music on the soundtrack is revealed to be playing on a radio at some point. Examples: "The Man in Me" in the first dream sequence fades out after The Dude wakes up, but we still hear it, tinny and distant on his Walkman. "Hotel California" plays through out the entire scene with Jesus at the bowling alley, and even during the brief flashback, apparently as a song playing on the alley's PA system. The big band music that plays as The Dude leaves his house fades and is heard playing on Da Fino's car radio as they talk. Additionally, at the beginning of the film, the opening song, "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds", fades into a muzak version of itself as the Dude shops for his creamer in the grocery store; when it cuts to the Dude outside the store, the song has faded back into its original version.
*The blue Volkswagen driven by the private eye is a reference to the Coen brothers' first film, Blood Simple. (1984), in which a private investigator drives the same car.
The fictional German techno-pop band in the movie, "Autobahn", is a parody of/homage to the '70s band, Kraftwerk. The "Autobahn" album cover is almost a carbon copy of a Kraftwerk album cover and the group name "Autoban" is the name of a Kraftwerk song.
The Dude's shirt with Oriental characters and an Asian holding a baseball bat, worn during the scene in which the Big Lebowski describes Bunny's kidnapping, is the same shirt worn by 'Bridges, Jeff' in part of The Fisher King (1991).
*Asia Carrera, the girl appearing opposite Bunny Lebowski and the nihilist in the porno movie that Maude shows The Dude is an actual porn star.
The private detective that's following Lebowski says that Bunny's family is from a farm "outside Moorhead, Minnesota". Moorhead is the home town of 'Bridges, Jeff' ' wife and is located directly across the state line from Fargo (the title of the Coen brothers' previous film).
*Steve Buscemi dies in nearly every Coen Brothers film in which he appears (with the notable exceptions of The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)and Barton Fink (1991),). Additionally, with each successive role his remains are smaller; in this film, his ashes blow all over The Dude when Walter scatters them at the ocean. (See also Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) and Fargo (1996).)
*The reason Steve Buscemi's character, Donny, is constantly being told to "Shut the fuck up!" by Walter ('John Goodman' ), is because Buscemi's character in Fargo (1996) would not shut up.
*The word "fuck" and its variations were spoken 281 times in this movie.
*The only time Donny doesn't get a strike is before they fight the Nihilists at the end of the movie.
*The Dude drinks nine White Russians during the course of the movie. (He drops one of them at Jackie Treehorn's mansion.)
*The Dude says "man" 144 times in the movie, nearly 1.5 times a minute.
*Nearly all of the visible symbols in The Dude's second dream sequence are taken from earlier scenes:
the black and white tile is seen earlier in the Big Lebowski's entry way when The Dude walks with Brandt and again at the end
the tool belt and workman outfit The Dude is seen wearing is identical to the one worn by Karl Hungus in Logjammin'
Saddam is mentioned briefly by Walter in the car outside the bowling alley; in the opening credits, we see a man looking a bit similar to Saddam spraying the bowling shoes at the alley
Maude's gold bowling ball bra cups are taken from bowling balls seen on the rack behind Walter in an earlier scene at the bowling alley
the scissors wielded by the red-clad Nihilists are seen in a painting with a red background on Maude's wall
the red-on-black bowling ball is the same as the one in the earlier dream sequence and is also visible on the rack behind Walter and The Dude at the bowling alley.

*A high percentage of the Dude's vocabulary and dialogue is taken from other characters in other scenes.
*In the opening credits, a big black guy throws a seven-ten split (his ball changing color from the throw to the strike, as noted in "goofs"). The first frame showing the ball striking the leftmost pin reveals that the pin isn't on the dot marking its official position. It's a little ahead of and to the left of the dot, hanging over the gutter, and the ball strikes it from the gutter: the shot is rigged.
*The animal referred to in the film as a marmot (and by Walter Sobchak as an 'amphibious rodent') is actually a ferret. It is illegal to keep ferrets as pets in California.
*Possibly uniquely for an American movie, a bad guy wields a cricket bat rather than a baseball bat.
*CAMEO[Aimee Mann]: The musician is the nine-toed Nihilist woman who we see briefly at the diner where they all order pancakes.
*The nihilists are seen in a diner ordering pancakes. Peter Stormare, who plays the lead nihilist also appears in another Coen brothers movie (_Fargo_ ) where his character of Gaear Grimsrud loves pancakes (noted by the line to Steve Buscemi's character, "Where is the pancakes house?" during the drive from Fargo to Brainerd).
*The part of Walter Sobchak was specifically written for John Goodman.
*The Coens were inspired by Robert Altman's movie, The Long Goodbye (1973), which also features a down-on-his-luck protagonist. Both films are radical tweakings of Raymond Chandler. *Both films parody and pay homage to Los Angeles culture. Altman's film even features a gangster who is a devout Jew much like John Goodman's character in The Big Lebowski. Interesting to note also is a bowling pin on the shelf of Philip Marlowe ('Elliot Gould' )'s apartment.
*The character of Walter was based on that of John Milius the writer/director of Conan the Barbarian (1982).
*The Dude's car is a 4-door 1973 Ford Torino. Two vehicles were used in filming: one was destroyed during the filming, the other was destroyed in Season 8 of "The X-Files" in an episode called "Salvage".
*The title is a reference to the novel "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler. The wheelchair-bound Big Lebowski is largely based on the character General Sternwood in "The Big Sleep".
Of all the different personalized bowling shirts Donny wears throughout the film, none of them bears his name..
*The Dude was based on independent film promoter Jeff "The Dude" Dowd, who helped the Coen brothers secure distribution for their first feature, Blood Simple. (1984). Like his fictional counterpart, Dowd was a member of the Seattle Seven and takes a casual approach to grooming and dress.
*The Dude is in every scene of the movie, with the exception of the scene where the Nihilists are ordering pancakes. This is in keeping with the traditional film-noir, in which the protagonist is the narrator and acts as the audience's guide throughout the film.
*The Port Huron Statement that The Dude refers himself as to being one of the original authors of, is a real document/statement written by The Students for a Democratic Society at a national convention meeting in, Michigan, June 11-15, 1962.
The man shown bowling in the picture on The Dude's wall is President Richard Nixon. Nixon was an avid bowler.
*When the Jesus, John Turturro, has to go door to door, sharing that he is a convicted sex offender, he has a large bulge in his tight pants. The bulge was formed by a bag of birdseed.
*The Coen brothers was inspired by several sources and stories. At one time they had a friend named Pete, who was very happy about a rug, because "It really tied the room together". Pete also told them about a story where a friends car was stolen, and the thief dropped his homework in the car. Instead of telling the police they put the homework in a bag and drove out to the kids home to confront him.
*In the "Gutterballs" dream sequence where Jeff Bridges floats between a row of girls' legs and looks up their skirts, the actresses played a trick. Unbeknown to any of the cast or crew, each girl had placed a wig under their leotard with large tufts of hair poking out the sides, hidden by their skirts but fully visible from underneath. Jeff Bridges has said "It was really funny, but I couldn't laugh. But that's why I have that weird smile on my face in the picture."
*Before filming a scene, Jeff Bridges would frequently ask the Coen Brothers "Did the dude burn one on the way over?" If they said he had, he would rub his knuckles in his eyes before doing a take.

No comments: