Celebrating everything Lebowski
Can you Lebowski? Are you missing a rug that pulled your whole room together? Can you roll a bowling ball with scruffy aplomb? Do you take unnatural pride in hoarding the Coen of the realm"? Then you have a shot.
Find out if you've got the right stuff on June 21 at 7 p.m. when the second annual Lowcountry "Big Lebowski" Celebration pays homage to its chosen icon at Madra Rua Irish Pub in North Charleston.
The free event celebrates the Coen brothers' woolly-wacky "The Big Lebowski" (1998), which teamed Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore with Coen regulars John Turturro, John Goodman and Steve Buschemi in the tale of an unemployed California slacker and recreational bowler who is mistaken for a millionaire of the same name.
Though critics who raved about most of the Coens' films found this one a minor effort, arguably it has developed more of a cult audience than any film in their canon.
In addition to a screening, there will be a "Big Lebowski" costume contest, "Big Lebowski" trivia and white Russian drink specials (the preferred libation of The Dude (Bridges). Attendees are invited to come dressed as their favorite character from the movie. Prizes will be awarded.
"We were overwhelmed with the turnout for last year's festival. Obviously, there are lots of 'Big Lebowski' fans in Charleston," says Jason Weber, Madra Rua general manager and one of the event organizers. The Madra Rua Irish Pub is located on 1034 East Montague Ave. in the Olde Village of North Charleston near Park Circle. For more information, call 554-2522 or visit
Even Indiana Jones got short shrift. American films were all but irrelevant at the recently concluded 61st Cannes Film Festival.
Apart from Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," a frothy love letter to the city of Barcelona starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, most Hollywood films were shunted ingloriously to the back end of the festival. Among them: Steven Soderbergh's dual Che Guevara movies ("The Argentine" and "Guerilla"), and Clint Eastwood's "Changeling."
But then, Cannes was founded for offbeat, obscure fare, even if it hasn't always celebrated it as it might. This year, "A Christmas Tale" from French director Arnaud Desplechin got the most glowing response from audiences (and a U.S. distribution deal). Ageless Catherine Deneuve plays a Parisian matriarch who, diagnosed with leukemia, must rely on her family for a bone marrow donor. Deneuve is cast opposite her real-life daughter, Chiara Mastroianni.
Yet the film did not capture any of the major awards. The Palme d'Or went to Laurent Cantet's "The Class," the Grand Prize to Italian director Matteo Garrone's "Gomorrah," and the Jury Prize to another Italian film, Paolo Sorrentino's "Il Divo."
Buzz on 'Bees'
Principal photography on the screen adaptation of Lowcountry author Sue Monk Kidd's "The Secret Life of Bees" continues in North Carolina for release Oct. 17 as a prestige fall film season offering. The movie is written and directed by Gina Prince-Blythewood, who debuted as a writer-director with the Sundance Film Festival hit "Love & Basketball" (2000). She captured an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and a Humanitas Prize for her work on the picture, following it with the HBO film "Disappearing Acts" that same year.
"Bees" features child star Dakota Fanning as Lily Owens and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson as her caretaker and "stand-in" mother, Rosaleen.
The two soon discover a trio of beekeeping sisters: August, played by Queen Latifah ("Chicago"), June, portrayed by songstress Alicia Keys, and May, embodied by Sophie Okonedo ("Hotel Rwanda"). Completing a fine cast are Paul Bettany ("Master and Commander") as T. Ray, Tristan Wilds as Zach, Nate Parker as Neil and Hilarie Burton as Deborah.
Local film to air
The National Educational Television Association (www.NETAonline.org) has accepted the locally produced theatrical documentary "The Curious Mr. Catesby" for nationwide public broadcasting distribution. Date and time is to be announced. The filmmakers also expect to have DVDs of the film available.