Movie Maniac

August 8, 2014

Tallgrass events to include class on movie openings, screenings of ‘Big Lebowski’

Tallgrass Film Association gears up for two events next weekend tied to the Coen brothers’ classic comedy “The Big Lebowski.”

Tallgrass Film Association gears up for two events next weekend tied to the Coen brothers’ classic comedy “The Big Lebowski.”

First, it will present another Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab with special guest Peter Exline titled “Movie Openings: Getting Things Started Right.”

Exline, who was the inspiration for the character Walter (played by John Goodman) in “Lebowski,” is a freelance “reader,” someone who provides “coverage” on screenplays (coverage is an industry term for the analysis and grading of screenplays). Tallgrass says he has covered more than 10,000 screenplays for high-profile creative agencies and such television entities as HBO, Fox and NBC. He has taught at USC School of Cinema-Television, as well as at UCLA.

The Tallgrass class will explore the importance of movie beginnings. The opening sequence of a film (about the first 10-15 minutes) tells an audience what to expect and establishes the story. The class will explore opening sequences of six different films, some dramatic and some comedic, and discuss these pivotal scenes.

The class will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at House of Schwan, 3232 N. Comotara. Space is limited and advance registration is required (it costs $20). You can register online at

After that, Tallgrass’ 4th annual Dudegrass: A “Big Lebowski” Extravaganza will commence at 5 p.m. Saturdayat Northrock Lanes, 3232 N. Rock Road.

Exline will participate in a Q&A at 7 p.m. A screening of “The Big Lebowski” will start at 5:15 p.m. It will play again at 8 p.m.

A “Big Lebowski”-themed costume contest will start at about 7:45 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. Price includes unlimited bowling/shoe rental, the film screenings, live music by DJ Carbon and J Skratch, the costume contest and more. There also will be a “Bunny Lebowski Manicure” provided by Eric Fisher Academy members. AJ’s Sports Grill will offer food and drink specials.

For more information or to purchase a ticket, go to

Summer film series — The Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation and the Wichita Art Museum present another film in their Jewish Summer Film Series at 2 p.m. Sunday.

“David” tells the story of an 11-year old Muslim boy growing up in Brooklyn who becomes friends with a group of Orthodox Jewish boys who mistake him for Jewish and accept him as one of their own (they call him “David”).

Unable to resist the joy of a camaraderie that he has never felt before, David is drawn into a complicated dilemma inspired by youthful deceit and good intentions.

Admission to the film is free, and it’s open to the public. A facilitated discussion will follow the screening.

For more information, call the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation at 316-686-4741.

Reach Rod Pocowatchit at

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