The Big Lebowski

A kind of filmic equivalent of a Paul Auster novel, this is a huge, slumbering film, with some exquisite moments: Jeff Bridges flying through LA after being knocked out, the lovingly recorded form and use of a bowling console, Saddam Hussein serving drinks. The story is a kind of subtler Pulp Fiction; a litany of wrong premises, mistaken identities, and false conclusions. Amazingly enough these non-sequiturs are neatly tied together by the hippy, opportunist, Jesus-looking, Lebowski (also known as 'the dude').

I love these Coen brothers' films. They're larger than life, stylistic stories, Dennis Potter-like in their use of dream sequences and the surreal. They have that same sense of 'theory'; that mixing of story, imagination, experience, and memory. I notice that the Coens like symmetrical images in perspective: the bowling alleys in The Big Lebowski, the buildings in The Hudsucker Proxy, the long corridors in Barton Fink [1]. A carefully composed art of the screen. It gives a feeling of a Kafka-esque state, a deeply organised world under shady control.

Jeff Lebowski quizzed by his newfound lover about what he's been up to answers: "oh you know, feeding the monkey".

[1] Long, but not anxiously long, like the corridors in The Shining.