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Entries in Before Sunset (10)

Sunday
Jun152014

Podcast: 2004 Anniversary Party w/ Top Ten Lists

For this hour long special edition of the podcast, we took Joe Reid's suggestion and are having ourselves a theme party. The theme is 2004, and on its tenth anniversary Nathaniel, Nick and Joe marvel at what a rich cinematic year it was and how well the highlights have endured. 

We begin with movies we think we should revisit or have shifted in our memory and then compare top ten lists. Movies discussed include but are not limited to: Dogville, Bad Education, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Tarnation, Before Sunset, Blissfully Yours, Shaun of the Dead, Sideways, House of Flying Daggers, Primer, Vera Drake, and Maria Full of Grace among others. 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation with your own 2004 memories and revisits in the comments.

 

2004 Top Ten Party

Monday
Dec022013

Interview: Julie Delpy on the ideal way to watch the "Before" trilogy

Julie Delpy speaking in West Hollywood in NovemberStargazing sometimes leads us to believe that we really know the faces who act out our human dramas onscreen. Or that we know the characters they portray as if they were neighbors. It’s a false intimacy and a fantasy, fiction being fiction and strangers being strangers, but sometimes the illusion is too perfect to deny. Such is the case with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke as Celine and Jessie in the “Before…”  trilogy. The actors cowrote and costarred in the decades spanning trilogy under the guidance of Director Richard Linklater and the films, perfectly spaced out every nine years, have allowed audiences to age along with them, which has only added to their ephemeral mystique. The films are grounded in reality through their short single day stories and long takes - real life happens one day at a time and without a lot of fussy crosscutting – and the only fantastical element is that every day conversations are rarely this thrilling and this wide ranging and this funny simultaneously for 90 minutes straight without some dud moment or mundane distraction breaking the spell. For that kind of perfection you need miraculous writing and great acting.

Julie Delpy is not, of course, Celine. And though I know this as I settle into our conversation over the telephone I’m temporarily stunned when she, unasked, repeats her trilogy’s most famous line when I bring up the ending to Before Sunset (2004, for which she won a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination though not, tragically, the Best Actress nod she deserved as its companion). She sounds just like Celine… only somehow not...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May232013

Those Who Have Gone "Before"

Hi all, it’s Tim, here on the eve of what is, by far, my most-anticipated summer release of 2013. Not, shockingly, The Hangover, Part III. Not even Epic. No, like most right-thinking people, 2013 for me is all about Before Midnight, the third film in one of cinema’s most unlikely series, in which we revisit lovers Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) every nine years to see what they’ve been up to. The first time we met them in Before Sunrise, they met by accident on a train into Vienna, then in Before Sunset they had an afternoon to walk around Paris, and in this third entry- I have no idea, I’m on completely spoiler lockdown with this film, to the level where I won’t even look at the poster. But I’m willing to guarantee that whatever they’re up to, it’s going to have some very deep resonance and profound truth to speak about the lifespan of romantic relationships.

For the benefit of anyone who hasn’t had the chance to see the earlier movies yet – please change that as soon as possible, I beg you – or to get series veterans riled up for its imminent return (like that’s even necessary), I wanted to share five reasons that, for me, the first two Before… movies are some of the finest romantic dramas in the history of cinema. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr222013

Still there. Still there. Gone.

 

The new poster for Before Midnight has just been released via EWreminding us all that the next chapter in the lives of Celine and Jesse is only 32 days away.

Are we all excited yet?

Also: for anyone living in the L.A. area, the LA County Museum of Art will be hosting a double feature of the first two films, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset on Friday, May 17th. Tickets are available here starting Thursday at 5:00, and at $10 for both films on the big screen, it's not even a bargain anymore. It's a freakin' steal.

Get them, lovelies. 
-Beau

Thursday
Apr042013

Reader Spotlight: Zé Vozone

We're getting to know The Film Experience community with little spotlights on YOU the readers. Here's Zé from Portugal who you've talked to in the comments section as he's a regular.

What's your earliest movie memory?

: The dinner scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, what with the beetle hors d'oeuvres and the "chilled monkey brains". I live for Kate Capshaw's histrionics in that scene and throughout the whole movie.

Your three favorite directors?

: Roman Polanski, David Lynch and John Cassavetes 

When did you start reading The Film Experience?

During the 2006 Oscar season. I had always been a huge movie and awards buff and in that year I was particularly outraged that Helen Mirren (who I nevertheless thought was wonderful in The Queen) was steamrolling what I thought was one of the best Lead Actress line-ups ever. So more than ever I started looking up "second opinions" on the matter and eventually ran into The Film Experience, where you had just awarded Meryl the gold medal for Prada. I loved the weekly charts for each category and the more I explored the more I came to appreciate such a witty, unpretentious and most of all passionate take on cinema, its history and the inevitably love/hate affair we have with The Academy Awards. 

I've always loved the special care you give to actressing without ever disregarding other aspects of moviemaking. I do admit having a bit of nostalgia when I go dig for old posts. Speaking of which, the quartet with you, Joe, Katey and Nick on podcast is one of the msot delightful online experiences out there. I still crack up thinking about that mess of the 2008/2009 awards season and those back-to-back Globe/SAG podcasts, with Nick being pissed off at Salma Hayek for going all "there she is. my sister. my friend. it's an honour to be presenting this movie on which my soulmate's in" to everything Penelope Cruz-related and how Meryl reenacted the running through the woods scene in Mamma Mia! after beating Kate Winslet at the SAGs. The best!

Nick is too funny. Speaking of that moment... which 3 movies make you running screaming like Meryl, filled with crazy joy? 

I have to go with both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Can we count them as one? They're so different though... I watched both back to back when Sunset came out and I was like 16, and for a while I was in the narrow camp which preferred the whole naive and carefree vibe of Sunrise. As the years have gone by though it's been Sunset that keeps hitting home. I don't think I've seen any other movie where a feeling and the chemistry between the two leads remains so intact 9 years after the first was made. It's mesmerizing that they made that specific format work.

Zé's first actress crush reveals...awesome taste!

Same Time, Next Year used to be a (random) favorite of mine when I was a kid. I watched it like a gazillion times and again the uncomplicated nature with which those two characters so genuinely enjoyed each other's company really moved me. Ellen Burstyn was the first of my (many) actress crushes. I was 8 or 9 when I watched Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore for the first time, and that was probably the moment the Oscars really started meaning something to me as my mom told me she had won.

I can't not talk about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. At first I found it extremely depressing even though I kept watching it. I thought that ending was so disencouraging, that yeah you just have to deal with the fact that you can't live without a relationship which is way past its expiration date. But now I have a brighter take on being dependable and that needing someone is can actually be a sweet thing.

I'm seeing a weird pattern in these three... so I'm going to say The Witches. "You may remove... YOUR VIGS!"


 

Tuesday
Feb052013

Burning Questions: What Kind of Sequels Should Be Made?

I've hijacked Michael C's column this week because I have a burning question of my own to ask. 

With that hot buzz for Before Midnight from Sundance warming the expectant hearts of even the coldest cinephiles this winter (it'll win more fans in warmer temperatures next month at SXSW), I've been thinking about movie sequels. Why do we get them, how we receive them, and whether or not we need them.

The first and usually sole reason of "why" is money. Humans are creatures of habit so it's an organic reality that nearly every artform indulges in sequels (whether they're named as such or not) and has since long before "branding" was a term people without business acumen understood. Branding is so common and catch-phrasey now that even non-sequels feel like sequels. What is, for instance, each new Johnny Depp and Tim Burton collaboration but an endless series of sequels Johnny & Tim: Now...Vampiric. Johnny & Tim: Now... Caloric... Now... Johnny & Tim: in Garish 3D. Usually sequels make enough money to suggest that Hollywood should make them forever and preferrably split each sequel up into two parts to double investment. And, if they can control costs, make them for everything that was successful. 

But what kind of sequels should be made?

Maybe it's the edge-of-my-seat expectant bliss/wracked nerves regarding Before Midnight (dare I trust the critics who've already seen it? Critics are least trustworthy, I find, during the heat of festival mania and during the heat of awards season when constant conversation/groupthink and jetlag/movie-binging are most likely to affect them.) Maybe it's my now comical tries at seeing Yossi (things keep going wrong and I still haven't seen it!) which is the ten-years later sequel to the charming Israeli gay drama Yossi & Jagger (2003). The point being that I've decided that my absolute favorite kind of sequel is the "let's drop in on these characters again for no particular reason" When these films are done right it feels like they're done for the art of it, to illustrate what changes and insights the passage of time brings. And because we love spending the time with the characters. Now of course this doesn't always work out. The Evening Star was a big letdown for anyone expecting Terms of Endearment 2. But in concept, why not revisit one of the most indelible characters of 1980s cinema?

Terminator 2: The Return of Sarah Connor

Come to think of it this stance also helps explains my super-intense abiding love for Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) which is a sequel of the traditional kind (i.e. this will make TONS of money!) but which I would rank -- easily -- near the tippity top of a list of the greatest sequels ever made. And that's largely because of the authentically shocking evolution of character. The Sarah Connor therein is nothing like the one we met in 1984 but once you're past the 'what the hell!?'reveal the new one feels like a natural progression nonetheless to traumatic events from the first film. And it immediately shows how lazily written most characters are in sequels where nothing between films has ever affected them. Big blockbusters so rarely feel that deeply rooted in actual human drama. 

What kind of sequels do you long for?
Which film characters would you love to drop in on again?

 

Thursday
Aug302012

Unmissables I Nearly Missed on Vacation

Nathaniel, here, returning to home base. I'm baaaa--aack. Did you miss me? I shan't take another day off until late October so I'm all yours again! But before we get started again, hugs and kisses and floral bouquets and firm handshakes to Leslye, Melanie, Beau, Jose, JA and Matt for filling in for the week.

The internet moves with such speed -- except while visiting relatives in internet challenged rural Utah -- that if you're gone for a week you can totally miss seismic events. Here are some webthingies I'm so so glad people alerted me to so that I didn't miss them in my spotty connectivity travels. I'm sharing them on the off chance you missed them. No one should have to!

Revenge came out on DVD! - a magical elf in PR made sure I received mine. Thanks you! The cover of the Season 1 box is Emily in her promotional thematic thorn dress but we all know the true magic of the best nighttime soap in decades and decades is Madeleine Stowe's icy glares... deadlier than any thorns have ever been! If you have any love for Stowe's early 90s heyday (Short Cuts, Mohicans, Blink - holla!) or the art of the prime time soap opera, you owe yourself this series. The first handful of episodes are a bit too procedural repetitive for me but once the gears catch... oh my diva, this is an addictive series. Madeleine Stowe for the Emmy! Damn. She wasn't even nominated. #unforgivable. 

Cooler Cinema on the Sight & Sound List - This handwringing discussion of critical failure online is yet another example that that S&S List is proving to have an unusual shelf life in terms of continually trending topics. While it reads a bit to me like too much complaining about the lack of "instant classics" on the list -- I'm personally glad that canon lists focus on the past as that's what canons are for, to give you a foundation of cultural literacy rather than pat you on the back for your pleasure in the world's current favorites -- there's much food for thought here.

AO Scott's Review of The Oogieloves and the Big Balloon Adventure - Speaking of instant classics -- this review! The punchline is The. Best.

Karen O's Best Original Song Contender "Strange Love" - If Tim Burton's animated expansion of his early short Frankenweenie is as weird/cute/fresh, he might really have something. As usual Rich Juzwiak says it best:

I don't know whether Karen has lost her edge or merely child-proofed it, but the song is pretty fucking adorable.

David Fincher: A Film Title Retrospective - his films always have great credit sequences, don't they? This interview and wonderful quote only add to their appeal.

 

I don’t know how much movies should entertain. I’m interested in movies that scar.

Finally... two things I forgot to write about that I had totally planned to before I left. 

I had the scoop on the Before Sunset sequel prior to anyone in the States and I stupidly forgot to post anything in my rush to pack and fly (Sorry Manolis!) so The Playlist got their first. Good on them. Word is Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke are already filming their third romantic duet and Before Midnight might be the title. I love that series so much. If it's as good as Before Sunset several cinephiles could well experience the rapture and vanish from the Earth.

Finally Finally there's one more week left in a peculiar challenge set by Lars von Trier who is asking young filmmakers to choose from one of six masterpieces

 

  • James Joyce's work Ulysses
  • August Strindberg's famous play The Father
  • The Zeppelinfield in Nuremberg, created by Hitler's main architect Albert Speer.
  • Paul Gaugin's painting Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going? 
  • French composer César Franck's improvisations. 
  • Sammy Davis Jr. (in general)

...and create a short film inspired by it but NOT too obviously/directly. A collaborative film will be built around the submissions by female director Jenle Hallund in a project they're calling Gesamt. Sounds interesting/weird/Five Obstructions Von Trier'ish. If you're all "why didn't you tell me this two weeks ago, Nathaniel ?!? I could have created a masterpiece" just think of yourself as a reality TV show contestant. They never give them any time to speak of and they manage. Create quickly by the seat of your pants. Create all the (possible) way into Danish film history.