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The Next Reel • Season 12 • Series: The Before Trilogy • Before Sunrise

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Before Sunrise

“If there’s any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something.”

Looking at Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise.

There’s often been a sense of the arthouse style of storytelling with Richard Linklater’s films. Even after big Hollywood success, he still returns to his roots. Early in his explorations of minimalist, conversational storytelling, he decided to write a semi-autobiographical story of two people meeting in Europe and talking for 12 or so hours, building a connection, until they have to part with the possibility of never seeing each other again. With co-writer Kim Krizan, along with uncredited help from his stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, he brought Before Sunrise to life. But is this another great My Dinner With André? Or is this too mired in Gen-X sensibilities that keep us from connecting with the characters? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our exploration of Linklater’s Before Trilogy with his 1995 film Before Sunrise.

Here’s a hint at what we talk about.

How does Linkater work for us? Do we connect with his more artsy, indie films or prefer his studio films like School of Rock? Perhaps the bigger question is how much can we – former Gen-Xers – connect with these characters through today’s eyes? Do we feel like we’ve grown past this sort of conversational, stream-of-consciousness exploration they do or does it work for us?

To that end, how much do we enjoy Hawke and Delpy? And can we single out their performances outside of their own personas or, as uncredited co-writers of the film, does it seem they’re too intrinsically a part of these characters and vice versa to be able to pull out anything separate?

Regardless, there are elements we can both agree on that work incredibly well for us. Unfortunately, that means there’s a lot of disagreement about other elements.

We cover the gamut of those elements, debating the strengths and weaknesses of the film. It’s a great conversation about a unique film. Check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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