CST Throwback Thursday – Film of the Week

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by Gia Doxey,

I️’m going to throw it back to a movie series that has been on my mind not just the past week, but almost every day for the past six months.

In May, I️ finally watched the “Before” movies, “Before Sunrise (1995),” “Before Sunset (2004),” and “Before Midnight (2013),” exclusively starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

Everything we do in life (and thus everything we watch in movies) all boils down to relationships.

How do they develop or dissolve overtime?

How do we know if we really love someone?

Can we know what love really is after a short amount of time with someone? Or do we have to keep on with our lives and see if that person stays in our hearts and minds for years and years?

Director Richard Linklater and the duo cast answer all of these questions in the series that takes place over 18 years.

(18 years! The SAME cast and creative team. Who does that??

Great things take time, and that’s why I️’m raving about it here).

An American man and a French woman meet on the train to Vienna. Both are in their early twenties. Although the world is ahead of them, they still are no strangers to heartbreak and confusion about life. They hope for wonderful days, but they are bitter about the cards they’ve been dealt already.

They get off the train together, spend the whole night talking and learning about each other, and they agree to meet again in six months.

Someone doesn’t show up.

Life happens, they eventually see each other again, but I️ can’t tell you the rest! I️ will tell you both “Sunrise” and “Sunset” lead up to the most heated, everything-is-hitting-the-fan, I’ll-throw-all-the-punches argument scenes between two people onscreen. Your palms will sweat because you know exactly what this kind of argument is.

Every word is so carefully written yet so natural to experience.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the scene. (This will have spoilers, but it’s worth it).

The concept of love over time was revolutionary for movies. It’s now Linklater and Hawke’s shtick as they worked on Boyhood (2011) with the same acclaimed cinematic idea.

If you’ve been jonesing for good dialogue, watch these movies. That’s all it is: flowing, this-is-how-life-is exchanges, in a magical world created by Hawke and Delpy.

It’s only them onscreen in the first two films, and the third features an ensemble around the dinner table: Hawke and Delpy, a young couple, a middle-aged married couple and a widow. This heartwarming scene hits all the angles for how different couples interact and share stories.

And these movies are short! Each one is about an hour and a half. If you’re a binger, you’ll knock them out in one day. If you’re not a binger, you will make time to watch them in one day. (From personal experience). Or let each one marinate for a while. There’s no wrong way to go about this.

But you’ll love them. I️ promise.

If you have seen them already, I️ really urge you to revisit them. You’ll learn something new every time.

These movies are great to watch before the new year. They will help you reflect on life and remember what truly matters to you.

Happy movie-going!

Final Word