Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Dude Abides: Cathleen Falsani on THE BIG LEBOWSKI

Jeff Bridges is a marvel in True Grit, the Coen Brothers latest - which as Steven Gredanus points out comes with a surprising percentage of your RDA of Bible and other essential soul nutrients. Mr Bridges' work in turn has more than a trace of Dude in it, which is all to the good. Which in turn puts Soul Foodies everywhere in mind of this fascinating piece by San Diego religion writer Cathleen Falsani, as she gives voice to the question on every heart as we approach Oscar season: "Is The Dude a lamed vovnik?"

The Dude Abides

I suppose the Falsani article is a stretch. (You did read it, didn't you? Do so. Now. Links are for clicking, not for skipping. Bad reader.) But I like her style. And I'm inclined to give the piece more cred than I might have expected to, at least partly because that very question has been on my mind since reading a piece by Kate Bowman about seven years ago. Her Lebowski reference left me puzzled. Now it's making more sense.
If I cannot see evidence of incarnation in a painting of a bridge in the rain by Hokusai, a book by Chaim Potok or Isaac Bashevis Singer, in music by Bloch or Bernstein, then I will miss its significance in an Annunciation by Franciabigio, the final chorus of the St. Matthew Passion, the words of a sermon by John Donne.

If we are unable to see hints of incarnation in Lars Von Trier's BREAKING THE WAVES, Sofia Coppola's LOST IN TRANSLATION, the Coen Brothers' BIG LEBOWSKI, P.T. Anderson's MAGNOLIA — we are likely to miss the truth in Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. 

- Kate Bowman, Overcome With Passion, Christianity Today Movies
And, heading down yet another link-strewn path, since the controversies surrounding poor Mr Gibson have caused so many to lose track of whatever truths they may have been likely to miss in his Passion  movie in the first place, tomorrow I'll offer up something I found online that refreshed my palate for that film as well.


godgrrl said...

hey ron,
thanks for the shout out.
one tiny thing: while i live in laguna beach, ca, i neither live nor write for anything in san diego. i do write for religion news service in washington, d.c., and am officially ordained and installed as the "dudey satva" of the church of the latter-day dude.
if you will it, it is no dream.
abidingly yours,

Ron Reed said...

Salutations, godgrrl. Nice to hear from you. Your book is a recent addition to my shelf, waiting for busyness to abate for a good read. Love the Dude piece, enjoyed the other samples as I flipped through (and decided to buy!).

San Diego. Where on earth did I get San Diego? Of course from this far north, Laguna Beach actually does look kind of close to San Diego, if you squint a bit. But still...

Well met. Favourite movies lately?

Ron Reed said...

Ah, but of course...