The Dude Who Inspired 'The Dude' in the Coen Brothers' 'The Big Lebowski'

Since its release in 1998, The Big Lebowski has become a cult classic, spawning fan conventions (Lebowski Fests) across the U.S. There, superfans might have a chance to meet the guy Jeff Bridges's character, Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, is based on: Jeff Dowd. This documentary portrait by Jeff Feuerzeig tracks him down and tells his life story, from sixties anti-war radical (he was one of the Seattle Seven) to indie film promoter (he helped Joel and Ethan Coen distribute their first film, Blood Simple). Feuerzeig describes his own first meeting with The Dude on his Vimeo page, "Jeff Dowd is a right of passage in the indie film world -- baptism by the Dude -- his spittle and good vibes setting you free to create a world of your own."

For more films by Jeff Feuerzeig, visit http://www.feuerzeig.com/.

Via Vimeo Staff Picks

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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