Thursday, April 14, 2011

Richard Linklater: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset

Here's an good idea for a double feature if you're looking for one: a marathon screening of Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004).  Linklater has always alternated between his personal and mainstream projects, and Before Sunrise is perhaps one of his most indebted to European art cinema sensibilities (particularly with it's overt nod to Antonnioni in the location montage at the end).  Before Sunset is unique in that it is one of the few sequels to be made so long after the original (nine years) where the characters have also aged the same number of years (the other example that comes to mind is The Three Jakes, the sequel to Chinatown).

Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater, USA, 1995, 100 minutes)
Netflix: This intoxicating film from director Richard Linklater stars Ethan Hawke as an American backpacker who strikes up a conversation with a lovely fellow traveler (Julie Delpy) on the train to Vienna and persuades her to spend his last day in Europe with him. Wandering the picturesque streets of the Austrian capital, the two share stories of their pasts and their dreams for the future, ultimately forging a bond that leads to love. Netflix link.

Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, USA, 2004, 80 minutes)
Netflix: Ethan Hawke reprises his role as Jesse, a traveling American who fell for a sweet French girl named Celine (Julie Delpy) while he was backpacking through Europe, in this sequel to the 1995 hit Before Sunrise that's set nine years after they met. Now a successful author, Jessie's on a book tour in Paris when Celine shows up at a reading, just hours before his plane leaves. It's their last chance at closure -- and maybe their second shot at love. Netflix link.

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