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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Fan Phenomena: The Big Lebowski

From box office flop to one of the most successful cult films of all time, The Big Lebowski has spawned a multicity festival, college-level courses, and its own religion. Fans of the Coen brothers’ masterful dark comedy (collectively calling themselves “Achievers”—and proud we are of all of them) gather in movie theaters and bowling alleys across the county to quote along with the film, imbibe white russians, and admire the Dude’s rug (which really tied the room together).

Fan Phenomena: The Big Lebowski examines how this quirky movie evolved from its underwhelming debut to attract a mass following on par with that of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Contributors take a close look at the film’s phenomenal impact on popular culture and language and examine the script’s rich philosophical implications, whether it is the nihilism within the film itself or the Dudeism that Jeff Bridges’s God-like character  has bred (the “Church of the Latter-Day Dude” has attracted more than 70,000 official adherents through its online ordination process). Covering issues concerning gender and sexuality within the film, such as Maude’s feminist art and Jackie Treehorn’s Malibu garden party, the essays here also explore the gender divides the film has created in today’s society, such as male versus female fandom rivalry at festivals. These gatherings—part costume contest, part bowling tournament, part trivia contest, part fan meet-up—have, since their debut in Louisville, KY, in 2002, sprung up all around America and have even expanded globally, and the book takes an inside look at these events and includes interviews with Lebowski festival organizers and authors of other fan books and academic treatises.

In all, these essays are an essential companion for one of the greatest films ever made, in the parlance of our times.

124 pages | illustrated in color throughout | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 | © 2014

Fan Phenomena

Film Studies

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Table of Contents


   Zachary Ingle

The Comforts and Pleasures of Repetitive Dialogue in The Big Lebowski

   Jeff Jaeckle

Another Caucasian: Online Fan Response to Donny and the Stranger

   Randall Clark

Fan Appreciation no.1: Interview with Will Russell: Co-founder of Lebowski Fest

‘If You Will It, It Is No Dream:’ Lebowski Fest and Cult Fandom

   Jeremy Hehl

That Shirt Really Ties the Room Together: The Lebowski Legacy of Cultural Artefacts

   Andrew Howe

Nihilistic Dudes: The Masculine Cult Figure in Fin de Siècle American Cinema

Fan Appreciation no.2: Interview with Adam Bertocci: Author of Two Gentlemen of Lebowski

The Bard, The Knave and Sir Walter: Adapting a Modern Cult Movie into a Neo-Shakespearean Stage Play

   Paul Rogalus

Reimagining and Commodifying Gender, Genre and Sexuality in The Big Lebowski for Cult Fan Consumption

   Sheri Chinen Biesen

The Dude Goes Digital: The Big Lebowski, New Media and Participatory Culture

   Peter C. Kunze

Fan Appreciation no.3: Interview with Kim Barber: Executive Producer of The Achievers (2009)

Listening Deeply to Lebowski: One Fan’s Attempt to Draw a Musical Map Surrounding the Dude

   Tom Zlabinger

Abiding Sublimely: From Eastern Philosophies to The Big Lebowski

   Jz Long

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