Aug 25, 2012

The Dude - The Real Big Lebowski

I've watched the Coen brothers film at least a half dozen times in the last decade or so, but in that time I never figured out that there was a real guy behind the character, who's gone on to become an icon and a cult figure in certain circles. Turns out that the real 'dude' is a fellow who goes by the name of Jeff Dowd, a true real life character who ended up crossing paths with the Coens and ultimately inspiring the movie with his odd mannerisms and style.

It also turns out that the 'dude' was a strong Anti-Vietnam war movement leader in Seattle (Part of the 'Seattle Seven,' mentioned in the movie) as well as one of the founders of the Sundance group, which contributed to the Coen brothers actually getting their work out there, starting with 1984's 'Blood Simple.' Jeff Feurzeig's mini documentary is a fascinating look at the movement Jeff Dowd ultimately ended up spawning, concluding with his participation at Lebowskifest, a White Russian drenched event celebrating the idea of being 'the dude.' Definitely worth a watch.

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