Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Big Lebowski

| 1998, US, dir. Joel Coen |

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The Big Lebowski…I mean what more can I say of a movie in which the conflict is incited by a rug that’s been peed on? I mean, really? It is amazing what the Coen Bros can do with a simple incident like that. Jeffrey “THE DUDE” Lebowski, an unemployed, bowling-loving, lazy bum is mistaken for another Jeffrey Lebowski who just happen to be a millionaire. The “bad guys” are looking for money that the millionaire’s wife owes them. The Dude is a pretty mellow guy (just look at his name) but when they pee on his rug, he decides enough is enough so he tries to collect it from the Big Lebowski.

Jeff Bridges is the key for making this loser: The Dude. His inertia is surprisingly interesting and consistent. His attempt to look pro-active takes the character development to a total different level. His buddy Walter (John Goodman) adds another dimension to the picture, though his excesively dirty-mouth takes me out a bit, but that’s just me. He does add so much to the comedy though, he is the spark that moves The Dude along, albeit often in the wrong direction. When The Dude tells him something happened, he immediately assumes he’s in it too and takes over the plans without telling him. He’s like the guy who was not invited to the party, yet he goes anyway and tries to change everything to his taste.

Oh yeah, and the bowling…lot’s of bowling. Each time the story gets more urgent, instead of getting to work on it, they go bowling. It’s hilarious.

What is even more amusing is the blatant use of they typical story formula: “Dude with a problem.” The Coen Bros take it to a literal level and I just think it’s awesome.

You have to watch this movie!

MD

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film #1 | Linha de Passe

| 2008, Brazil, dir. Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas |

Linha de Passe is a depiction of a lower class family composed of 4 brothers and a single pregnant mother in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. It tells story of each member as they struggle through their suffocating circumstances in this unforgiving metropolis. What I love about this movie is that although it explores the theme of survival, it doesn’t concentrate on the over portrayed drug-controlled favelas as we’re so used to seeing, instead it shows what real characters go through and how they help each other keep their lives going.

As the title suggests, “Linha de Passe” is a term in football (or soccer for the stubborn ones) that means the line where one player can pass the ball to another with the least probability of interception. That’s what happens in this film. The story is passed character to character and each one has interesting traits. Denis is the older one who works as a motoboy and has a hard time providing for his son. Dinho is the more serious brother who seeks to cover up his shady past through religion. Dario is the football player who dreams of going pro, and Reginaldo is the younger one who is fascinated with driving a bus while constantly searching for his father.

To be honest, I did not like this film in my first viewing but this time I came to appreciate more each of their journeys. Maybe the quantity of characters obstruct a deeper development of each, diluting the narrative down a notch. Whatever it may be, one can still appreciate a pretty realistic picture of what it is to live in a cruel part of this city.

MD

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