Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012

Lebowski Goes Rocky Horror

Gunfoot Productions Presents Cohen Brothers Classic with live parallel performance at the Times Cinema

By Russ Bickerstaff
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The Cohen Brothers’ 1998 film The Big Lebowski has, (in the parlance of out times,) become something of a cult classic. When it was first released, the film was kind of a modest success for the Cohens, making $46 million worldwide on a budget of $15 million. Not as big a hit as other Cohen Brothers films—Fargo and No Country For Old Men made quite a bit more of a profit, but it’s Lebowski that continues to resonate with a huge, likely disparate group of fans. Couldn’t’ve happened to a better film, really. The script is brilliant. From Saddam Hussein working at the counter of an epic dreamscape bowling alley to an awkward interpretive dance featuring music form Pictures at an Exhibition, this is truly inspired strangeness that captures a lot of different ends of the imagination. There’s just so much in there. The Cohen’s endlessly quotable script really ties it all together. It’s hard not to be charmed.

The film gets the same type of live tandem performance treatment that had been so popular with Rocky Horror Picture Show courtesy of “Gunfoot Productions.” A host of actors play out key scenes from the film as it goes on onscreen. (Oh…sounds exhausting.)  The art of accompanying a 14 year-old film with live action is really tricky. This sort of thing is its own kind of theatre and, given the right conditions, it can really elevate the cinema experience beyond anything they can do with a brand name like Imax. Do it in the wrong way and it’s just mildly annoying. Do it in the right way and it can really amplify the weird in a very appealing way. Either way, it’s yet another opportunity to see an old favorite on the big screen again. 

Gunfoot Productions’ parallel live performance with The Big Lebowski runs April 6th and 7th at the Times Cinema on 5906 West Vliet Street. Both shows are late night affairs at 11pm. Both shows are $5. 

 

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