The term “cult classic” was born in college dorms, when kids clamp onto a film over time because it’s smart, infectiously colloquial and refreshingly unorthodox. Religious mimicry is the first sign of a cult classic, as defined by the perpetually stoned. Such was the fallout of The Big Lebowski, an under the radar Coen brothers film released to little fanfare 10 years ago. Cut to today and kids look to The Dude (Jeff Bridges) as a modern-day Zen master, and quote Walter Sobchak’s (John Goodman) famous: “Alright, I can see you don’t want to be consoled here, Dude. Come on Donny, let’s go get us a lane” in casual conversation. This 10-year anniversary release has some very funny behind the scenes revelations—like when Steve Buscemi says that there was something obscene about watching John Turturro clean his bowling ball. But the most fascinating aspect is listening in to the cast about working with the Coen’s ten years after the deification of the characters—namely, that they were meticulous in everything Lebowski and in soft-spoken harmony throughout the filming. A decade later, the movie itself holds up great—and it’s notable that Lebowski’s ultimately not just a college niche.
Focus Features, 2-disc 10th Anniversary Edition
Release date: September 9