When Joel and Ethan Coen first asked him to take a supporting role in The Big Lebowski as Theodore Donald Kerabatsos, the mild-mannered, oft-dismissed bowling enthusiast who succumbs to a heart attack while fighting a trio of nihilists, Steve Buscemi didn’t recognize their invitation as a ticket to immortality. If anything, his gut told him to decline.
“I remember thinking that I didn’t want to play this part,” he says now, reunited on the stage of New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom with principal members of the Lebowski cast and crew – including Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, John Turturro, Julianne Moore and musical director T Bone Burnett – to celebrate the movie’s Aug. 16 premiere on Blu-ray.
Urban achievers seeking to celebrate Joel and Ethan Coen’s classic 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski can satisfy their appetite for White Russians, mini-bowling and beach-bonfire trampolines from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. this Saturday at CELLspace, the site of SF IndieFest’s eighth annual Big Lebowski Party.
The movie will be playing all night in the studio’s screening room, and cash prizes will be awarded to those sporting the most creative costumes. Tickets cost $10. For more information, visit the party’s official site.
Fifteen minutes after Josh Brolin met 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld for the first time, he was pinning her down with a blade to her throat.
No, this was not another shocking case of When Celebrities Attack. Brolin and Steinfeld were on the set of Joel and Ethan Coen’s True Grit remake, opening today, and their introduction preceded the rehearsal of one of the movie’s tensest scenes.
You might need subtitles to understand what Jeff Bridges is growling at you in True Grit, Joel and Ethan Coen’s adaptation of the 1968 Charles Portis novel.
Here, reprising John Wayne’s 1969 role as irascible U.S. marshal “Rooster” Cogburn, Bridges doesn’t try to fill The Duke’s boots so much as he gives them a new shine, his ornery, whiskey-voiced grumblings a far cry from Wayne’s unmistakable drawl. A character actor rather than a Hollywood monument, Bridges so thoroughly cloaks himself in Cogburn’s darkness that he threatens to disappear altogether.
The journey to TRON: Legacy would have to wait just another minute — early audiences were asked to check their phones at the door, lest they attempt a little techno handiwork of their own — but after 28 years, what’s another 60 seconds? Besides, the last thing this digitally dazzling sequel needed was extra circuitry in the theater.
The 1982 original, so prophetic in its fascination with the virtual world of computers, would seem an obvious choice for a follow-up, and perhaps there is no better time than now, when technology has almost caught up with the vivid imaginations of creators Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird.
Early this year Jeff Bridges won his first Oscar, for last year's Crazy Heart, after four previous nominations yielded no hardware. Now, he is returning to the scene of one of his most unusual and iconic adventures – Disney’s TRON (1982) – in a sequel, Legacy, opening Friday, that the 61-year-old Los Angeleno never expected to see.
He’s touted as a dark horse in Oscar’s Best Actor race, a relative unknown in a field of nominees highlighted by presumed frontrunner Jeff Bridges and George Clooney. Yet Modesto native Jeremy Renner, the fair-haired star of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, is no stranger to the screen, or to awards consideration.
The Independent Film Festival enters its second weekend, bringing with it Harmony and Me, this year's closing-night comedy about a slacker caught in the throes of a post-breakup malaise and seemingly incapable of snapping his way out of it. Also coming to the Roxie this Sunday afternoon: Double Take, Belgian filmmaker Johan Grimonprez's experimental rumination on Cold War paranoia featuring none other than the late Alfred Hitchcock. Elsewhere:
1. An Animated World
Where: Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., 415-863-1087
When: Feb. 14, 15
Nominations for the 82nd annual Academy Awards were announced this morning at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, and though there were few surprises in the major categories – one notable exception being The Blind Side, a surprise contender for Best Picture in this year's expanded category – the races should be tighter and less predictable than in years past. The following is a list of the nominees, with the presumed favorite denoted by an asterisk. Conventional wisdom can change in a hurry, though – just ask Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee, whose movie was erroneously considered a shoo-in for the top prize that went to Crash in 2006 – before the ceremony's official telecast on Sunday, March 7.