Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Not my first Coen movie or The Big Lebowski

My first movie by the Coen brothers was kinda rough. Fargo for a fifteen-year-old girl was not a valid choice. Was it even a choice in the first place?. I was at my grandma's that summer, had no friends of my liking around and I longed for something; albeit something cultural. It crossed my mind that I could go to the open-air cinema nearby; I had to rush, cause the film was starting any minute now. I had no time to change my sports shorts of a vivid pistachio colour; I remember having that particular pair of shorts on very clearly.

I hurried inside the cinema searching for the person that was supposed to be in the box-office. He was sitting right there, my thighs the height of his shoulders and casually showed me in; I don't know how I got this idea, but I would swear it was the pistachio shorts that got me in for free.

And then, the torture started. People went missing, dead bodies, a lot of snow. Then, in a crescendo of violence, bodies shoved in a mince meat machine. Blood spilling on the white snow. Utterly shocked, I decided I was in for provocation, nevertheless. I am in ever since -mainly in theory. Graphic scenes, I must admit, never ceased to partially annoy me.

This, was supposed to be a post on The Big Lebowski, though, my second Coen movie, and so be it from now on. I was by then in France for a student exchange, I was lying on a bed and I might as well have been naked. That's how I learned what subversive humour is. It took me a while -I was twenty plus by then- but, better late than never.

Recently I revisited The Big Lebowski. There were elements I did not remember, like the White Russians. Milk, yuk. There was bowling and there was Bunny (Tara Reid), a promising starlet then, by now a big loser herself. But, what about Jeff Bridges? How could he go on making movies after that one? And, what about Julianne Moore? How can she still remain absolutely fabulous? Many things are brilliant in the film, except for the cast. Like the costumes. Do you remember the so-Dude cardigan? The vivid, shiny, deep  green nail polish? The dancing number -girls downing the silliest (read funniest) hats ever?

Well, why am I writing all this, you're gonna ask. It's not about the Coen brothers, it's about cinema. I started writing, trying to pin down an elusive thought; movies (and books) brought me up, not my parents, in the end. If I was a daddy's girl, then movies would have failed. But they had visual power and backlush that I couldn't imagine at the time. They shaped up my thought, my values, my (almost) everything one shock at a time. I'm glad they did. They still replace common sense in my chaotic brain more often than they should; and that makes the world an even more limited place.

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