Lebowski Fest

You know what they'll be drinking at our satellite celebration of Lebowski Fest, a national phenomenon now in its eleventh year. You also know that people will come dressed in costume. And you can be certain that many have the entire, endlessly quotable script memorized to the Coen brothers' 1998 stoner-noir The Big Lebowski, which will also be screened this evening (after many White Russians). At a time when the country is divided and politics are so fractious, the Dude now more than ever seems a benevolent emblem of national reconciliation. On his quest to retrieve a stolen rug, nothing rattles Jeff Bridges' Dude, not a leering Tara Reid, not a lisping John Turturro, not a raving John Goodman, not a simpering Steve Buscemi, and not even shrieking performance artist Julianne Moore, who joins Bridges in a Busby Berkeley-style bowling fantasy that sums up the movie's sweet, silly spirit. To abide is to avoid extremes and unnecessary arguments. To abide is to accept. To abide is to let things slide—negativity chief among them. Maybe it's not too late for this country … could there be a third Lebowski Party candidate on the ballot this fall? Bring us together, Dude! (A bowling/drinking party follows on Saturday at Roxbury Lanes in West Seattle.) BRIAN MILLER

Fri., Aug. 10, 8 p.m., 2012

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