Before Sunrise

before trilogy celine

This past week was a bit slow in terms of movie news thanks to the holiday, but there’s always plenty to talk about. Over the past seven days we found reasons to discuss the performances of Peter Cushing, the significance of Medium Cool (one of my faves) and of course the entirety (so far) of the Before (Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight) and Fast and Furious franchises. Meanwhile we wrapped up our 2013 Cannes coverage, consumed all of the long-awaited new episodes of Arrested Development and found new reasons to look forward to the future work of Sam Mendes, Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Doctor Who beauty Karen Gillan, who has just been announced as being cast as a villain in Guardians of the Galaxy. I’ve highlighted a bunch of FSR’s content from the past seven days along with two outside links to notable pieces from our friends. As usual, if you have or know of a movie-related (or TV-related) piece of news commentary or feature that I should include in the Reject Recap, please send it my way. Start your weekend right after the jump.

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Before Midnight

Editor’s Note: This review originally ran as a part of our insanely extensive Sundance 2013 coverage. Before Midnight is in theaters as of May 24th. It’s no easy feat to review one of Richard Linklater’s Before films – including Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Sundance premiere Before Midnight – because to attempt to chronicle and summarize films that primarily feature two characters walking and talking would likely prove boring and definitely end up reducing the experience of watching one of the Ethan Hawke- and Julie Delpy-starring films. Here it is straight – do you love Before Sunrise and Before Sunset? You will love Before Midnight. Do you just like the previous two films? You’ll probably still love Before Midnight. Do you hate the film’s predecessors? Well, perhaps you’re best advised to stay away from this one. Have you never even seen one of the Before films? Well, you’ll probably do pretty okay with Before Midnight, thanks to its impressively well-crafted flow, its increasingly more relatable characters, and its less-starry-eyed but much more satisfying approach to what it means to actually love someone.

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Richard Linklater has been tight-lipped about the possibility of there being a third installment in his Julie Delpy-and-Ethan Hawke-walking-around-a-city-and-talking series of films that so far include 1995’s Before Sunrise and 2004’s Before Sunset. But, unfortunately for him, one of his stars and collaborators can’t stop spilling the beans everywhere he goes, that star being Ethan Hawke. The last time Hawke was talking about the potential project, he remarked, “I don’t know what we’re going to do but I know the three of us have been talking a lot in the last six months. All three of us have been having similar feelings that we’re ready to revisit those characters. There’s nine years between the first two movies and, if we made the film next summer, it would be nine years again, so we’ve really started thinking that would be a good thing to do. We’re going to try write it this year.” Well, it seems like the writing went well, because in an interview with IndieWire that was supposed to be about his upcoming project The Woman in the Fifth, talk turned to the new Before Whatever project again, and Hawke confirmed that the third film was indeed on its way. Of his future collaborations with Linklater (which also include a still-untitled series of short films) Hawke said, “we’re also doing a follow-up to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, so that will be fun. We’re going to shoot that this summer.”

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A lot of people still fondly remember Before Sunrise, the romance Richard Linklater released in 1995 about a couple of young people (played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) who meet on a train, spend a day together in Vienna, and then part ways, perhaps never to see each other again. It’s a quiet little movie about love and relationships, a character piece that focuses pretty solely on maintaining a dialogue and travelogue-esque location spotlighting. But it worked, and the ambiguity of the ending, where you never knew if these two kids with this immediate connection would ever really see each other again, was pretty sublime. So there was a lot of apprehension when it was announced that a sequel, Before Sunset, would be released in 2004, at least on my part. This one was about the same two characters reuniting nine years later, and this time spending a day together in Paris. Surely this sequel would ruin the perfection of the first film and all of that delicious ambiguity that it left you with, wouldn’t it? Turns out, not really. Before Sunset showed us how Hawke and Delpy’s characters had aged and matured in interesting, but authentic ways, it completely recaptured the magic of the first film, and it diminished the original in no way. That’s no small feat, but surely a third film would be the charm when it came to ruining what those first two offered up, wouldn’t it? Could Hawke and Delpy walking around a city […]

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