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At Lebowski Fests, the Dude and Friends Abide

The Lebowski Fest West is one of many gatherings around the country that celebrate the Coen brothers' film.
The Lebowski Fest West is one of many gatherings around the country that celebrate the Coen brothers' film.

In 1998 the Coen brothers made a deeply funny -- and funnily enough, rather deep -- sendup of film noir standards called The Big Lebowski. Jeff Bridges led a marvelous cast as "the Dude," a stoner/slacker/bowler mistaken for a corrupt tycoon and pursued by a posse of nihilists.

In recent years, the film's vivid characters have taken on a new life offscreen. Fans gather at "Lebowski fests" to assume the roles and souls of the vitriolic Walter Sobchak, the ill-fated Donny, Jesus Quintana, Maude Lebowski and all manner of minor players.

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