Before Midnight before midnight

I haven't been to the movies in forever, but thanks to young punk friends who have their shit together, tonight I'm going to a preview screening of Before Midnight, the third movie to come from the Richard Linklater-Julie Delpy-Ethan Hawke triumvirate.

(If you don't know what the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight movies are about, and also want to remain spoiler-free, refer to the first two paragraphs of the current Wikipedia entry on Before Sunset. There's also a fantastic New York Times interview with Julie Delpy from a few months ago, which mentions some lines from Before Midnight but is fairly spoiler-free otherwise.)

Before Midnight is probably about the only movie that I'd drag myself to the cinema for these days. There's a little of the excitement that comes with seeing it as soon as it opens, and also it'll be a treat to see the lush conversation unfold on the big screen, rather than just watching it on the TV at home.

Speaking of which, I had a little free time earlier this week and sat myself down to watch the first two movies again, for the umpteenth time. I prefer Before Sunset because it seems more real and thus less (and more) romantic; I'd come to think of Before Sunrise as too idealised and easy-romantic.

But watching Sunrise again after so many years, I was struck by how light and hopeful it is, and convincingly so ("hopeful" is also the word Delpy's character Céline uses in Sunset, referring to their encounter in Sunrise). It's hard to hit those right notes in any romantic setup, to make a scene turn upon a glance, a word, a pause. I think I might be a little less impatient with Sunrise now.

And I think you have to be someone who loves the space between people to love these movies --- not only the words people say and the things that 'happen to' them and their 'relationships', but the moments that hang between them, silent, conversation-filled or otherwise (and oh dear, I'm channelling the movies again, the character Céline says something similar about "this little space in between" in Sunrise).

Yes, yes, it's also escapist fantasy, set in olde Europe to boot. It doesn't help that I'm close in age to the protagonists.

I'm perilously vulnerable to words.



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