Joel and Ethan Coen have been awarded the Dan David Prize and are slotted to receive in May 15th in Tel Aviv, Israel. I'm sure you know all about the "Dan David Prize," but I'm feeling totally out of my element so I thought I share what I learned...
Three prizes of US$ 1 million each are annually awarded for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world. Each year fields are chosen within the three Time Dimensions - Past, Present and Future. http://www.dandavidprize.org/
So this sounds pretty prestigious. The other winners for 2011 are Marc Feldman, Cynthia Kenyon, and Gary Ruvkun. You know....if the Nihilists won, then their special lady's dream of "getting million dollar" would finall come true. Sorry, I'm rambling here, but I think the Coens definitely deserve the prize. They have achieved a social and cultural impact not just with The Big Lebowski, but with their the whole bulk of their series. Some don't exactly agree with the givers of the award.
BRICUP stands for the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine. Palestine is the country who lost land when the Allies created Israel after World War II. Needless to say, I hope you're aware of the constant struggle between these two people groups to occupy the same land. This group is urging the Coen Brothers to not accept this award as a protest to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Your much-celebrated presence will adorn a colonial settler state still vigorously engaged in the business of dispossessing and driving out the indigenous inhabitants, who are the Palestinians. Of course the United States itself is built on the bones and demolished civilizations of its own indigenous inhabitants, but for the Palestinians the struggle is real and present – an every day battle to hang on to land, houses, livelihoods, hopes and ambitions.
So what do you think? I know a few Palestinians, and a couple Israelis. All I can tell is that it's a two-sided problem. Does this mean the Coen Brothers shouldn't accept the award? Is this a moral issue? I need some opinions.
I came across this article today mentioning a high school student is entering the 500 movies in a year contest. Has anyone heard about this? I just did a quick Google search and saw some YouTube videos of contestants reviewing their films, but I couldn't easily find something announcing the contest. I could totally do this. One year in college my buddy Bente and I watched 100 movies during our January term. During that three week period we were also attending 4hrs of class a day with at least 4-6hrs of homework.
A bigger challenge would be 1500 movies in a year. I did some quick math and if you watched three movies a day after work, and doubled up your weekends to watch roughly 8 movies each on Saturday and Sunday, that'd give you a rough estimate of 30 films a week. There will be times when you watch something long and epic like Spartacus or an extended version of the Lord of the Ring films. This would mess up your 90 to 120min average for film length. You might also want to go outside, buy groceries, or see another human being once in a while. So if you estimate 52 weeks in a year, 30 films a week would give you 1560 watched movies. I admit this is a very aggressive schedule, and I definitely couldn't do it now that I'm "married with children." Well I guess I could do it if I skipped sleeping...What do you fellow dudes think? Could you watch 500 or 1000 movies in a year? You could really dive deep into some of your favorite genres, or watch all those film Quentin Tarantino rips off. The catch is you have to review each one. I'm not sure how extensive, but you need to do a little reflection.
Good luck to Tim Fitzgerald. I'm sure this will be an enlightening experience for him.
Our friend and fellow Lebowski-scholar Ed Comentale recently wrote up a review of the latest album by The Strokes. Have you heard these guys? I saw them live back in 2004 with a fellow Achiever and a member of my wedding party - Bendog. It was a pretty rocking time, even though Kessler kept shaking his fro in my face. They played every single song in their catalog up until that point. It was like listening to my two CDs back to back only it was live and a little crowded.
In his review, Ed talks about how The Strokes are a bit of a let down. My first response was, "What's a let down, Walter?" I soon realized what Ed was getting at - The Strokes have this tendancy to end their songs unexpectedly and just as thing are reaching that peak, that crescendo of awesome just sorta peters out. Am I making sense here? It's all part of their too cool for school thing they got going....and I dig it.
I encourage you to check out Ed's review and see what you think. And if you have some time, let us know how you feel about Casablancas and The Strokes.
Did you hear? A couple days ago I read that Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore will both be starring in The Seventh Son. Even though the title has an uncanny resemblence to an Iron Maiden album, I can neither confirm nor deny their music will be making an appearance. Moore will be playing a witch who sucks the blood out of young women. Jeff Bridges is playing the role of "The Spook" who is an exorcist. I really don't know much more about the plot, but I'd assume The Dude and Maude will be confronting each other before the film is over.
Lebowski grammar? "What's that," you say? If Walter were here he'd most definitely have a definitive answer for you - something about shutting up, and he might even call you Donny. What we're actually here to talk about today are Joel and Ethan Coen. These two dudes make up what is known as "The Coen Brothers."
For the Grammar Girl podcast about contractions in the Coen brothers movie True Grit, I had to look up whether I should capitalize "brothers" in "Coen brothers." The answer is no. It would only be capitalized if it were part of their official name--for example, if they were a band called The Coen Brothers. Here are some examples:
The Andrews Sisters
The Allman Brothers Band
Sources: Chicago Manual of Style, Official Coen Brothers Wiki
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've probably noticed that I always type "Coen Brothers" and not "Coen brothers." While this may not be grammatically correct, I have chosen to capitalize this phrase as a proper noun. I do the same with the word "dude." When referring to the character played by Jeff Bridges I always type, "The Dude." When referring to a dude that happens to have the definitive article in front of it, I type "the dude." This is another one of those breaking-the-rules scenarios, but I'm consistent with my practice and I think it is about as clear as I can make it. Here are some more examples of my style with explanation.
The Dude - Jeff Bridges' character, may or may not be the start of a sentence
The dude - start of a sentence talking about some dude
the Dude - most likely a typo on my part
Coen Brothers - Joel and Ethan Coen
Coen brothers - a couple of dudes named Coen who are not Joel and Ethan
Got an email the other day from a dude named Nyco who recently finished a poster containing every single character from The Big Lebowski. I don't know if I've seen one before. The promo image is a little small, but it looks pretty cool. Nyco says if you guys check out his site, he might send us a poster so please click that link.
Remember that article a while back about two-handed bowling becoming popular? Well here's a young dude, Tim Wolchko, who just won the New Jersey high school championship with the two-handed method. He didn't just start recently due to the recent craze, he's been doing it his whole life. As a kid people would ask his bowling father, Bill Wolchko, when Tim was going to be "taught the correct way." Obviously his father didn't feel the need to make his son bowl any particular way. If it's not physically harmful, is it really wrong? We'll have to check with Walter for an official ruling.
I often bowl with a "unique" form as well. I even took a bowling class in college to knock out some required phys ed requirements and our professor was a little amazed I could still throw the rocks. I'd do this weird, inverted twist thing. I'm right-handed and according to the proper form, I should lead with my left foot and have the ball traverse from right-to-left across the lane and into the "sweet spot." I'd basically bowl in a left-handed manner with my right hand. I'm still not sure how it works, it just did. How do you prefer to bowl?
The Dude Hates Cancer recently announced they will be holding their annual event on May 5th. If you haven't heard of them, here's a non-profit group who loves The Big Lebowski and is doing something important for cancer victims. The event will be on a Thursday night from 6pm - 9pm in Philadelphia. Please check it out if you're in the area. They'll have the standard bowling, viewing, etc.
If you enjoyed the Coen Brothers' remake of Charles Portis' novel True Grit, you'll be interested in knowing it's slated to be released on DVD and Blu Ray early June. You can pre-order your copy now at Amazon if you're into that sort of thing, or run to your favorite getting place in a few months.