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Before Sunrise / Before Sunset [DVD]
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Indie filmmaker Richard Linklater directs this duo of films about two meetings between an American man (Ethan Hawke) and a Parisian woman, Celine (Julie Delpy), which take place nine years apart. In the first film, 'Before Sunrise' (1995), Jesse (Hawke) is an American student Eurorailing his way around Europe. He strikes up a conversation on a train with a young Parisian woman (Julie Delpy), and on the spur of the moment invites her to spend the day with him in Vienna. As the day wears on, a casual acquaintance turns into something more profound. Linklater pays homage to French auteur Eric Rohmer as he lets his characters talk their way into, around and out of each others' affections. In the sequel, 'Before Sunset' (2004), Jesse and Celine about to cross paths again - in Paris - where they will get the chance to catch up on all that has occurred in their lives since their first meeting. Jesse, now married with a young child, has become a successful novelist. He is on a whirlwind European tour when he stops off at a bookshop in Paris, and Celine, who now works for an environmental organisation, comes to the reading. In the eighty minutes before his plane leaves - portrayed in the film in real time - the two stroll around the streets of Paris and discuss their views, experiences, hopes and dreams.
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Top Customer Reviews
I feel inclined to recommend viewing solo, unburdened by cynicism.
However, the test of a truly fantastic movie, nothing less than a work of genius, is when you sit down in front of it and, for an hour and a half of your life, completely forget that you exist. The only moments in these films where I remembered that I was watching it, an external entity, were during moments of repeated shock at just how good it was. Most sentimental films leave me coming out of the cinema with the words "Well, it was alright, for sentimentality." Linklater's Sunrise couplet are nothing if not sentimental... As you can tell however, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this film.
Let's talk cinematography. The films are painted in the glowing yellow shades of Paris and Vienna: Linklater brings us into a world of eternal romance, of European architecture and gleaming blonde tresses. I mentioned above my somewhat cyical nature, but I did so by reason of illuminating just how skilled Linklater is, so as to make even me forget my pretensions. I might've dismissed his backdrops as an insincere romantic parody, and no fair setting for rather profound commentaries. Instead, I see it as adding a crucial element of visual beauty and timelessness to the films. The camera work does not distract us at all, or even make itself noteworthy, which works just right in films that're more than anything about people and emotions.
What really makes the films however are the performances of Hawke and Delpy, and the absurdly well written script.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this as a "twofer" because of "Before Sunrise", which is still a classic - beautifully filmed, seemingly improvised and desperately romantic but not in a... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Phil C
How do you sell these? A couple meet on a train and spend the night walking around Vienna talking to each other. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Steve Wallis
Bought this set on a recommendation and, while it is a lot slower than my usual genre, it is well worth a watch. Read morePublished 7 months ago by CLBuchan