20 April 2010

Lebowski Art

I do love Big Lebowski-inspired art, and these pieces from Daniel Joshua Rubin do not disappoint. He also includes a bit of character analysis of each of them that is worth reading.  I've only excerpted the bit about Jesus, which I respond to below, but check out the others, as well as this carciture and commentary he did of the Coen Brothers.

I like that he went for the tragic side of Walter, rather than the angry side.

No paper on the roll.  Way to nail the details.

Since Jesus doesn’t really move the plot of The Big Lebowski along, I always wondered what he’s doing in the film, especially the bit about him being a child sex offender. All I can come up with is that he makes the bowling scenes hilarious, and he’s so absolutely bat shit crazy he makes our heroes seem normal by comparison. All in all, I think the Coen Brothers’ view of men is that we’re pretty much all bat shit crazy – l’chaim! – and in the end our individual lunacies are just a matter of degree.
I think Jesus makes total sense. Yeah, he doesn't advance the plot, but thematically he's crucial. The LA of the Big Lebowski is a deeply, deeply weird place. Not only does it need to be populated by weird people as Rubin points out, the story set there needs to be told in a weird way. Why make the bowling league nemesis a child offender? Why not? Why are the pseudo-kidnappers comically eurotrashy nihilists? Why the bizarre dance quintet or any of the dream sequences? Why is Arthur Digby Sellers in an iron lung? Who the hell used an iron lung in 1990? What's with Knox Harrington? Why does Jackie Treehorn doodle Priapus when he's on the phone? Why does that cabbie love The Eagles so much? Why is there a cowboy narrator drinking sarsaparilla in a bowling alley bar? How did that tumbleweed get in the middle of LA?

You need to tell the story of The Dude in a way that reflect the weirdness of the world The Dude inhabits. You need weird characters and weird tangents and weird quirks because that's the way the Dude's mind works, and that's the way his life happens. And I think, incidentally, that the brothers Coen are trying to tell us that just a wee bit, that's how our lives happen too.


  1. Thanks a lot for throwing some kind words and a spotlight on my work. I really appreciate it. - Dudes abiding, SB7, dudes abiding. - DJR

  2. My pleasure, dude. Keep up the great work.