August 29, 2008

Behind the Dude: Steve Buscemi on "The Big Lebowski" "I don't know how big this is but there's this new theory that Donny is just a figment of Walter's imagination. Like he's an old army buddy that had died or something. It almost works. There's the "your phone is ringin', Dude" "thanks, Donny?" [exchange]. But that's the only acknowledgement that the Dude makes of Donny. If you watch those scenes, it's like Donny would come in, Walter gets so upset and it's like the Dude never hears it."

Oh, man, if only that were true, that Donny was never actually acknowledged by The Dude, the theory of him being Walter's imaginative figment would be *so utterly brilliant* that I think it would put the movie over the top into all time greatness, if it doesn't already have that. Some guy who used to post here already put forward the idea that The Dude is Buddha, so that would just take it even further.

  • Oh, I agree totally. Now I wish the "Thank you Donny" had never happened. Even better if he'd kept saying "Phone's ringing, Dude," and The Dude just kept walking. Oh, goddamn, it sucks that that can't be a thing. Yes, I am way more into this movie than a healthy man should be.
  • No, no, being into this movie is a measure of good mental health. Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • When this movie hit theatres, my buddy Jeremy and I went bowling, then went to see it for the second or third time. As the opening credits rolled, he leaned over to me and whispered: "We should go bowling again after this." And we did. The figment thing is interesting, but all the elements of the story fit together anyway -- as Buscemi describes in the interview -- so I don't really have a preference one way or another.
  • Well, that's because you're clearly wrong and don't know what's good, because Imaginary Donny is so much more awesome than Real Donny that explaining it is like explaining that salt is salty. Clearly, you have no frame of reference here, do you scartol?
  • This movie is a great judge of character. My friends and I have decided that if a person sees it and doesn't like it, you probably shouldn't be friends with them.
  • Simple. Let's all petition for George Lucas to make a [i]re-imagining[/i]. Snip that troublesome scene, add some cool CGI characters, a new 'Autobahn' music video, and it'll be the best film ever. For sure.
  • Plus proper HTML tags. George is big on tags.
  • *swallows* Uh, I'm... uh... *wipes brow* uuuh, I'm a virgin.
  • The Dude also talks to Donny a couple of times in the very first scene, and in the scene where he dies. Also he goes to Donny's funeral, or whatever, and later talks to the barman about Donny dying in the very last scene of the film
  • THE CHINAMAN IS NOT THE ISSUE mct, "Chinaman" is not the preferred nomenclature.
  • Because the check the Dude signs at the supermarket is future dated 9-11-91, and the tower of bowling pins, before it collapses, creates an edifice not unlike the World Trade Towers, and all, then why wouldn't Donny's ashes refer more worthily to THAT seminal tragedy? Because then Donny would be more like a banshee, FOREBODING death, rather than a mere ghost, recalling it...
  • Yes! Let's do that thing instead! I am re-energized!
  • Also, I'm not talking about the guys who built the fucking railroad here.
  • I've been thinking about this for a couple of hours, and by thinking about it I mean playing Lego Indiana Jones, and I feel this merits a round table. Not a discussion, just an actual table that is round. The sort of thing that will really tie the room together.
  • I agree with dng. I think Mr. Buscemi needs to see the movie again. The Big Lebowski is the Coen Brothers' Marlowesque-detective-noir-type-thing, and making Donny a figment of Walter's imagination is a different kind of movie entirely. My boys (I call the Coen brothers "my boys" because I love their movies so, not because they're my actual sons, which would be impossible) wouldn't make such a muddled film. It sounds like a theory someone might come up with after smoking a bit of the marijuana, if you know what I mean.
  • Koko, when we connect to this movie how can we not come to think that there is almost a God of Irony? I've seen that so much in my own life, and even in world history, that it strikes me also even in this movie. Conspiracy theories --I draw the line at that. The feeling that irony rules is different from thinking there's any kind of human intention for it, though plenty of *intensional* connections. This film is beyond our control, and even now beyond even the Coen brothers own directorial control. As for Mr. Buscemi seeing the movie again, he himself is “In the Soup” --another great, ironic movie that he made.
  • Bizarre. I thought that I had never watched this one before, but alas, I have. Thanks for reviving the memories, Hank. Ironic, perhaps, that the only Coen brothers' flick that I seem to retain any memories of is Miller's Crossing. My long-term memory and movies do not mix so well. Regardless, it was fun to give this a watch again. I actually think that the theory that Mr. Buscemi put forward works well. Just because the Dude acknowledges Donny on a few occasions does not necessarily mean that he actually lives. Besides, I think that Donny never actually "died". If you look at the upper right hand corner at 1:49:13, just after Walter has tossed the ashes, and has said, "fuck it, let's go bowling" - you will notice a small figure of a person walking on cliff in the background (the person enters the frame for a brief moment before it cuts to the next scene at the bowling lane). For me, this says: Walter has let Donny go, but he isn't quite "gone" yet - - he's still there in the far reaches of Walter's mind. Who's to say that Walter wasn't a figment of the Dude's mind? Thereby leaving Donny a figment of a figment...?? *mixes a Caucasian*
  • Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
  • I'm with koko. Discussion over. Unless you want to enter a world of pain.
  • I fuck you in the ass next Wednesday!
  • Lebowski, edited for television. The greatest thing ever, except for all those other things.
  • The Prescient Politics of "The Big Lebowski" Timely, as I just got home from watching "Burn After Reading."