The dude sitting next to me gets it.
He has watched The Big Lebowski 15-20 times already (his estimation) and is talking along with the movie, shouting out at the right parts, anticipating our audience cues, loving every minute of the first-ever live, interactive Big Lebowski movie spectacle.
I’m the gutter ball. Taking a cult classic and experiencing it interactively can be fun, but for me, it’s a little awkward, since I have only seen this movie in snippets while it was playing at parties about ten years ago.
I can’t say I didn’t get the memo. When we arrived at High Street Cinema, we were handed a bag, a ticket with a rug on the back (stolen in the movie), and a handful of goodies and props to use at strategic points of the film.
- Mustaches – to wear during any Sam Elliott scene
- Badges – to wear when a police officer is in the shot
- Sunglasses – to wear whenever the Dude is wearing them
- A Rug Ticket – to hold up during the rug theft scene.
- Bowling score cards – to hide behind and peek over during the Over the Line scene
- Pretzels – to eat during the bar scene (yum! not enough!)
- Bell – to ring when Walter throws the ringers from the car
- Beaver picture – to throw into the air when Maude talks about movies
- Leaf – to flick and dance with during the performance art scene
- Larry’s homework – to shake during the Larry’s Living Room scene
- Candy – to eat whenever
In all, a brilliant and inspired adventure. But I am always just a little behind — a leaf late, a bowling score card short.
This, I think, is the challenge of taking something that is already out there in the culture (rabid fanboy obsession with The Big Lebowski) and taking it to the next step (mashing it up a la Rocky Horror Picture Show). There will always be curious people like me who go to a movie to watch a movie. The real experience starts when you have retained the kind of muscle memory necessary to interact with the film.
Throughout the movie, Culture Shock Community Project, who put on the event, had a crew of live actors performing the movie in the aisles and below the screen. I invite Ryan Rogers to explain in the comments section here how it is possible to find someone in Salem who:
1). looks like the Dude
2). has the Dude’s entire wardrobe
Word on the street is that this is just the first showing — and the first adaptation of an interactive film — to be launched in Salem. Next on the docket? The Princess Bride, which I have seen 20+ times and which I am actually in wuv with.
Wuv, twue wuv, fowever and ever…
Gotta start drop-kicking those R.O.U.S’s.