When I was in studying in Melbourne, my apartment mate (she’s the best!) and I would sneak out regularly to catch late-night movies at the famous arthouse, Cinema Nova, on Lygon Street.
One of the movies we saw there was Before Sunset. It tells the beautifully romantic story of Jesse and Celine who first met nine years earlier on a train from Budapest to Vienna. Now, they meet again as Jesse lands in Paris for a reading of his new book. With only a few hours till his plane leaves, they spend a quiet afternoon in Paris, strolling around town and sharing their hopes and fears, memories and experiences. Although Jesse is now married with a son, their conversation finally turns to whether they still love each other. Their dialogue sounds so off-the-cuff, so unrehearsed and natural. You’re immediately drawn into the world of these lovers. Needless to say, my friend and I fell in love with the story from the get-go.
We quickly rushed home and made a plan to rent Before Sunrise, the first movie. The very next day, as soon as classes were over, we jumped onto a tram to the nearest place where we could rent a DVD, found Before Sunrise, rushed home and devoured the movie.
Before Midnight picks up 18 years after the pair first met on that Vienna bound train. Jesse and Celine are now married with twin daughters and live in Paris. Jesse’s kid has stayed back with his mom in America. The movie follows the couple over a day while holidaying in Greece and paints such a complex and raw portrait of marriage.
Celine: I feel close to you.
Celine: But sometimes, I don’t know? I feel like you’re breathing helium and I’m breathing oxygen.
Here are a few shots from the trilogy.
Before Sunrise, 1995
Before Sunset, 2004
Before Midnight, 2013
You’ll love all three movies.
PS. It’s been nearly two decades but these two don’t age!