Set at the time of the Gulf War, the Coen Brothers’ meandering homage to Raymond Chandler baffled most audiences upon release in 1998. But as the full suckitude of the sucky decade to come revealed itself, suddenly it looked less like a rangy goof and more like a pretty sensible design for living in a world of senseless hostility: mix up a White Russian, fire up another doob, and go bowling. Jeff Bridges’ abiding Dude was the perfect hero for the Bush II years, cosmically unfazed by the looming menace of Saddam Hussein (who proved to be about as big a threat in real life as he is here). A decade later, though, the figure that seems most prophetic is John Goodman’s Walter Sobchak, the original teabagger, a wellspring of apoplectic rage and bad information. All we can hope is that 2018 isn’t the Year of Jesus Quintana.
This weekend's midnight shows will again offer White Russians at the bar and bowling challenges down front, with prizes (pictured here) that The Belcourt's omnipresent Frank Keesee secured at great personal risk from some uppity nihilists. (Say what you will about National Socialism, at least it's an ethos.) Stop in and see what condition your condition is in.