The Coen brothers’ 1998 comedy “The Big Lebowski” has become a cult classic. So much so that the movie is studied at colleges and universities and celebrated at annual DudeFests around the world.

On Saturday, One Longfellow Square in Portland will play host to a scaled-down version of the international Lebowski fests. It’s the venue’s third annual DudeFest, says Tom Rota, managing director of One Longfellow Square.

The festival was born out of a monthly film program that didn’t go over too well – except for one movie. Guess which one?

“We had no idea,” said Rota, of what they were in for when they screened “The Big Lebowski.” “When it came time to open the doors, we had a line out the door. We grossly underestimated the appeal.”

During Saturday’s DudeFest, the movie will be shown, White Russians will be the drink special of the evening, and folks will be encouraged to wear their bathrobes or dress up like characters in the movie. Fans may shout out their favorite lines.

Those of you who haven’t seen the movie (gasp!) might wonder what the fuss is all about.

First thing to know: The characters have raised the use of the f-bomb to an art form. Hardly a conversation in the film, or a partial conversation, takes place without this versatile word.

Second thing to know: It’s all about the (f-bomb) characters:

The Dude (Jeff Bridges) – An unemployed pacifist and the protagonist of the movie. Likes to wear an oversized sweater and drink White Russians.

Walter (John Goodman) – Friend of the Dude. A Vietnam veteran with anger and ex-wife issues.

Donny (Steve Buscemi) – Friend of the Dude and Walter. A bit of a whipping post.

The Big Lebowski (David Huddleston) – Rich man married to a much younger woman who is causing him all kinds of trouble.

Maude Lebowski (Julianne Moore) – The Big Lebowski’s daughter. An artist/feminist who wants to conceive a child via the Dude.

Jesus (John Turturro) – Crazy bowling opponent of Walter and his pals. Refers to himself as “The Jesus.”

Third thing to know: It’s (f-bomb) absurd. The Dude finds himself the victim of a home invasion meant for someone else. During the invasion, his rug is urinated on by one of the invaders. His whacked-out friend, Walter, suggests the Dude get recompense from the man for whom he was mistaken. When the Dude sets out for justice, he finds himself embroiled in a plot involving insane rich people, a man in an iron lung, a marmot, nihilists, double-crosses, missing persons, an extreme feminist-artist and a hacked-off woman’s toe.

Fourth thing to know: It’s (f-bomb) quotable. Some examples from the (extensive) list found on the Internet Movie Database:

“That rug really tied the room together.”

“Smokey, my friend, you are entering a world of pain.”

“Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here!”

“No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“Does this place look like I’m (f-bomb) married? The toilet seat’s up, man!”

“Nobody (f-bomb) with the Jesus.”

“Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes, well, he eats you.”

“I could be just sitting home with pee stains on my rug.”

“You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me.”

“Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock this afternoon … with nail polish.”

“(F-bomb) it, Dude, let’s go bowling.”

Fifth thing to know: It has a (f-bomb) great soundtrack. Just a few of the tracks: “The Man in Me” by Bob Dylan; “My Mood Swings” by Elvis Costello; “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” by Nina Simone; “Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)” by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.

Sixth thing to know: Bowling (f-bomb) rocks.

Seventh thing to know: The Dude abides.

Staff Writer Stephanie Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

[email protected]

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