So, I’ve started doing camera work for Livestream, the premiere web streaming outfit, and one of my first assignments with them was one I could have only dreamed up. The principle cast of one of my favorite films was brought together for one evening at Hammerstein Ballroom for a live chat about their experiences making the film and then living with it for the past 13 years or so. It was the final evening of Lebowski Fest, an improbably annual affair that started as a party in Louisville, KY, but it was also a big studio expense to promote the blu-ray release of The Big Lebowski. John Goodman (Walter), Steve Buscemi (Donny), John Turtoro (Jesus), Julianne Moore (Maude), music supervisor T. Bone Burnett, and of course the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, were all in attendance.
When asked by the moderator what message they all felt could be taken from The Big Lebowski, Jeff Bridges responded with a line from the film. John Turtoro’s character has just promised the Dude and his bowling team, in colorful expressions, that they would be defeated mightily in the upcoming tournament. “Yeah well,” the film’s hero somewhat confidently replies, “That’s just, like, your opinion, man.”
The event itself was quite colorful with maybe a couple thousand Lebowski heads packed into the Ballroom and balconies, many dressed as different characters from the film, and most drinking white russians.
Click on the photo to watch the event. (I shot the center camera position.)