Preparing myself for “Midnight”: Looking back at “Before Sunrise” (1995) and “Before Sunset” (2004).

before

Reality Multimedia, a boutique acquisition and media distribution company that acquires the exclusive rights to high quality and critically-acclaimed international films, brings the latest Linklater film, Before Midnight.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Premiere of “Before Midnight” tomorrow here in Manila, by Reality Multimedia. Word of mouth seems pretty good as of now, and I’m ready to fall in love again. At this point of the year, I think I’m dying inside because the movie is really one of my most anticipated for 2013. So you can only imagine, that tomorrow night will be an ultimate movie-gasm for me. Let’s look back at Jessie and Celine’s romance, by revisiting 1995’s “Before Sunrise” (where it all began) and 2004’s “Before Sunset” (2004).

sunriseThe beginning. We first met Jessie (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) nearly twenty years ago in Vienna in “Before Sunrise”. The film came out to rave reviews and a large cult following. Richard Linklater’s romance about an American and French girl meeting on a train, spending one romantic night in Vienna, became special to a lot of film fans. I remember somebody even telling me that whoever you watch the series with, you will fall in love with them. Ha! I don’t know if that’s true, but we certainly fell in love with our two romantic leads. Ethan Hawke shines the most, with possibly one of the greatest leading man performances of the 1990s. Deply compliments him well – she’s sassy, cute and absolutely irresistible! These two, along with the their talented director (and not to mention the helping hand of screenwriter Kim Krizan) create unforgettable movie magic.

995BSR_Ethan_Hawke_027The romantic cynic. I know, the statement is quite contradictory, but that’s really how I feel about Hawke’s Jessie. For me, what makes the movie really relatable for both men and women (trust me, these films aren’t “chick flicks”) is the fact that the characters in the film cater to both sexes. Celine is a strong female character. She has her own opinions, she knows what she wants in life and she knows how not to be tricked. Jessie on the other hand is a romantic disguised as a cynic. Something a lot of guys do. Come on guys, don’t be shy. Like every young man Jessie’s age, he thinks he knows everything, he THINKS he knows what he wants, but he really doesn’t. Plus, you know behind his mask, he’s willing to sacrifice it all for a girl.

before_sunset_2004_685x385Paris in the middle. The sequel was released in 2004 and garnered mostly positive reviews from critics. We find Celine and Jessie, this time in Paris, at the end of Jessie’s book tour. His book, of course, is based on his experiences in the previous film. The fours minds behind “Sunrise” all come back to work on the sequel. And they recapture everything great back in this film. Though the film probably reaches a more emotional note, it’s a perfect, PERFECT sequel to the masterful work done in “Sunrise”. And it’s proof, because this time around, all four of them (Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and Kim Krizan) received an Academy Award nomination for their adapted screenplay. How I wish, this re-happens for “Midnight”.

600full-before-sunset-screenshot“A Waltz For A Night” is an original song composed by Julie Deply that fit perfectly in the cliffhanging finale of the “Before Sunset”. Normally, I’d post the video so you can see the lovely song, but unfortunately, I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie. But if you don’t mind, it’s easily found on the internet. This song was most definitely robbed of an Best Original Song nomination back in 2004. For me, it summarises everything about not only Celine’s character and feelings, but what the series is all about: true love in an unconventional way.  

before-midnight-imageThe end of a beloved series. You know I’m not sad that the series is ending. Okay, I’m a little sad. But all great things come to an end. And its so exciting to see where Jessie and Celine end off in their iconic romance. I have very high exceptions for “Before Midnight”, but based on the quality of the last two films, I feel like everything I want is going to be present in the third and final instalment of the “Before” series. Tomorrow is going to be very exciting for me, and I really can’t wait to know where and how it all ends. It’s been almost twenty years since the world were introduced to these two. As fans, let’s just all be happy and excited that we were able to experience their great romance with them. Check out my blog again tomorrow for the review. Till them, I’m going to hold my breathe.

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