Nov 21, 2011

BEFORE DUSK? Hawke, Delpy and Linklater At It Again!

I have a tremendous soft spot for Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise.  Despite the fact that I've never really traveled abroad, I discovered the film when I was around the same age as the two characters played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and so the film's optimistic outlook and its attitude on love and life really struck a chord with me.  By the same token, I enjoy the later sequel, Before Sunset, just as much because I had aged along with the characters.  As I prepare to get married and enter my 30s, I really appreciate the wistful sort of tone, that of looking back on memories both fond and bitter and trying to resolve the actual events with their emotional imprints.

According to, Ethan Hawke recently tole AlloCine that he, Delpy and Linklater have been chatting over the last six months about revisiting the characters once more for a third film.  Timing seems to be in their favor; nine years passed between the first and second films and if they can get this thing up and running by next summer then another nine years will have passed between outings.

I'm honestly not sure where they'd take the characters from where we last saw them.  While the ending of Before Sunset is somewhat ambiguous, I've always felt it implied that Jesse and Celine did finally get together at the end, but only in a fleeting moment before Jesse gets back on a plane and returns to his family in the States.  However, since the crux of Sunset is about two people who have been apart for a decade wondering what might have been, a third film requires a different status quo in order to be really interesting, which would necessitate a much different reading of that final scene.

The most interesting direction would be to find Jesse and Celine in the midst of a crumbling marriage, spending an afternoon walking around London trying to decide whether to stay together or whether they really did peak that one night in Vienna.  On the other hand, that might ultimately turn out to be more than a little depressing and color the whole franchise as the slowest burning tragedy in the history of film.

Really this just gives me one more reason to pile some hate on a certain sparkling-vampire franchise, as "Before Twilight" feels like the logical next step in the titular progression.

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