Two Gentlemen of Lebowski
I really could not let this go by. The entire script of The Big Lebowski (1998) transmogrified magic’ly into the very prose of the Bard himself. Why? More of that later. Is it any good? No – it’s much better than that.
You’ve probably seen sites that claim to ‘translate’ modern-day English into the Elizabethan-style equivalalent. Unfortunately, they are a bit crap. This project is truly a labour of love (not lost) by someone who knows The Bard as well as he knows The Dude. The sheer attention to detail in getting the text looking just right is just jaw-dropping. It would have been easy to have sprinkled a few ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ through the text to make it look ‘Shakespearean’, but the feel of the script is just right – it almost makes me wish old Will had written The Big Lebowski. It would surely have been better than ploughing through Hamlet at school.
In case you need convincing, consider this extract, which should be well-know to any Lebowski fan:
Hail, masters! I crave thine able readiness
To be dealt with roughly, as the Sodomites.
For men of sport have noted that our play
In semifinal hour draws on apace.
By Jove! I’ll wager well, Liam and me,
To thrash thee soundly at the fair tourney.
Yea, well, that be, forsooth, thy opinion, sir.
Well; but be forewarn’d. It reach’d mine ears
That combustible Walter, o’ercome with rage
Did shed good sense, and raise his sword in play.
I fear not such jade’s tricks, an seeing ill,
Would snatch the burden from the jealous knight
And pierce his gizzard with the wrongful steel,
Points up, as said of Coriolanus.
Thou speakest rightly, sir. No man misdeals with Joshua Quince, by Jesu.
Why bother? Well, it’s the brainchild of a New York screenwriter called Adam Bertocci. He says on the site: ‘Sometimes it’s very hard to get attention from the powers that be in the industry. I was frustrated with the trouble I was having getting interest in my screenplays from production companies, agents, managers, the whole deal. I decided what I needed was a publicity stunt. My hope is that the buzz from Two Gentlemen of Lebowski will help me get some attention for my ‘real’ projects.’
I don’t think there will be a problem, as this seems to have gone completely viral in a matter of some two days. There is now a very busy Facebook page, with details of all the goings-on. I must admit, it’s quite fantastic to see someone’s idea really take off, and I wish him all the best.
Oh, and if you have a theatre company, he’s given you full permission to produce and stage this as a play, with the usual caveat that the legal attack dogs of the movie companies are being starved ready for the hunt, so make sure you’re adequately insured.