One of our “to-dos” this week was to watch one of the movies off of the list provided on the Noir106 weekly post. The Big Lebowski is a movie I have seen before, but I thought I would check it out again after having learned more about Noir. I wanted to try and pick apart the movie from a different perspective, as if I was an expert in noir design.
To me, this is one of the funniest movies of all time; a great comedy that captures the essence of noir in its characters and set design. Along with interesting characters and the detailed sets, the general plot to the film blended classical Noir with a modern, neo-noir touch.
The Coen Brother’s attempted to tackle Noir from every angle they could with The Big Lebowski. It is somewhat of a modern update to the crime ridden LA streets stories.
I read an article on this film and it placed TBL into a genre that really made sense to me; SLACKER NOIR. Slacker Noir puts the slacking protagonist in the middle of a narrative derived from classic detective fiction. In this film, the slacker would be “The Dude”, who is hired by Jeffrey Lebowski (irony is the dude and jeffrey have the same legal name) to do the money drop that will in turn get the wealthy Lebowski’s wife back. Everywhere you see The Dude, he is lounging around. For example, he is on the bowling team (where a majority of the movie’s scenes take place) but he NEVER bowls.
The thought of a genre called Slacker Noir makes me think of your typical stoner movie. Classical examples of noir like crime, femme fatale and and elaborative mystery plots always seem to encompass this genre.
Just a thought: Would anyone say that Pineapple Express could be considered “Slacker Noir”?
Thought I would leave you with this meme I found. The Dude always drinks White Russians in the film, but refers to them as Caucasians.
Thanks for reading.