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.