In 1998, St. Louis Park natives and filmmaking phenoms Joel and Ethan Coen released The Big Lebowski, a stoner noir comedy about bowling, kidnapping, nihilism, and a rug that really tied the room together. It made us laugh to beat the band. (Parts, anyway.) Although the movie was initially a financial flop, audiences soon latched onto the laid-back philosophy of the film's protagonist, the Dude (or "El Duderino" if you're not into the whole brevity thing). In 2002, some Achievers in Louisville, Kentucky, instituted Lebowski Fest to celebrate all things Dude, and the event has become, in the parlance of our times, a cult phenomenon, one with a dedicated fanbase that rivals The Rocky Horror Picture Show obsessors. The fan frenzy has subsequently inspired a book, I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski, and a 2009 documentary, The Achievers: The Story of the Lebowski Fans. At long last, the traveling festival comes to Minneapolis, where Maudes, Walters, and Donnies alike can pour themselves a Caucasian and rock out to the music of the Black Diamond Heavies with a screening of the film starting at 9 p.m. (doors open at 7:30). Friday night at First Avenue (701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775). The next day features bowling as well as costume and trivia contests at 8 p.m. at Memory Lanes. The dude abides.
Sat., Sept. 12, 8 p.m., 2009