Of course there are many other elements to analyze in the film: the homage to films of the 30’s and 40’s, especially the film noir detective genre and Busby Berkeley musicals. There is the satire of the art world, the rich, L.A., power and violence… The list is long, but this gets at the most important theme, the heart of the matter, in more ways than one.
The dude abides…
P.S. This is a short video clip with a voice-over review from Richard Brody’s “Front Row” series for the New Yorker magazine. In case they move the link again, that should help people search for it. If you find the link at the top is broken, please let me know in the comments and I will fix it if possible.
P.P.S. This is a spoiler for the clip, but if the clip does get taken down permanently, here is the most important part of the review:
After The Dude tells Maude about his experiences as a 60’s radical, Brody comments,
“The historical events The Dude refers to here are real and crucial moments in the American New Left in the 1960’s. The subject of the film is, what remains of the 1960’s, of the spirit of protest, of the anti-militarism of that period? And the Coen brothers provide an answer: No matter how burned-out and gone to seed its heralds may seem, its spirit abides.