If you were walking in city centre late last Sunday, making your way home from work or going to a party, you may have come across several groups of strangely dressed people. People in dressing gowns and bathrobes, sporting sunglasses and cheap sandals. They were probably quoting lines from a famous cult film at each other: “The dude abides.”, or maybe “This aggression will not stand, man”. These people were going to a late night screening of the 1998 cult hit The Big Lebowski at the Phoenix Picturehouse, where they would soon blend in with a crowd of similarly dressed film enthusiasts.
The Phoenix has revived it's late-night After Dark programme, much to the delight of Oxford's film fans. The programme kicked off with the highly quotable comedy by the Coen brothers, which follows the misadventures of hapless stoner Jeffrey “the Dude” Lebowski, however future films will also include Sam Raimi's 1981 cult horror The Evil Dead (02.11) and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (24.11). The former starts at 23:30, the latter at 23:15.Keeping with the theme of the evening, the staff at the Phoenix will be holding competitions and serving iconic drinks, such as the Five-Dollar Shake, at the upstairs bar. Last Sunday's guests had the opportunity of relaxing with a White Russian, the Dude's customary cocktail, prior to the screening. Making their way to the screen, people also had the chance of trying some White Russian-flavoured ice cream, courtesy of G&Ds. Watching this cult classic, surrounded by fans and like-minded people, with cocktail in hand, was truly one of the best ways to see the film and a very memorable Movie-going experience.
I am certain, future After Dark events will prove to be just as, if not more, enjoyable.
Leonhard Balk (DI Reviewer), 22/10/12
This is a wonderful film. One would be hard pressed to say what it's about, although one can easily describe many things that happen therein. It features Jeff Bridges as The Dude, a genial stoner who loves his Creedence and going bowling with his friends, the obnoxious Walter (John Goodman) and the inoffensive Donny (Steve Buscemi). The Dude gets embroiled, because of sharing his long forgotten surname, Lebowski, with a man of much greater means, into undertaking various taks related to the disappearance of the latter's wife. This is made much more difficult by Walter's assistance, and the intervention of a number of ineffectual nihilists and the other Lebowski's sister.
And it all sort of gets sorted out. That's not the point, really, nor are the hints of Chandler that may or may not be dotted about the place. It's a Coen brothers slice of existence of the most life-affirming kind. The Dude may not achieve much, sometimes there may not even be much going on in there, but he endures with a general goodwill and resilience which, as the drawling narrator confirms, just makes you glad he's out there. "The Dude Abides", indeed.
The Tiny Throd (Unverified), 20/02/08
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