Today brings word that Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and Richard Linklater are discussing a follow-up to Before Sunset, the fantastic 2004 film that was itself a follow-up to 1995’s Before Sunrise. As Hawke notes, if they make the third movie next summer, it will be nine years since they worked on the last one—just as there were nine years between films one and two.
My first reaction was fear that they will tarnish a beautiful thing—but I quickly cheered up. Maybe the Hawke/Delpy vehicles will become a less populated (and entirely fictional) variation on the great documentary series 7 Up—or something akin to Truffaut's Antoine Doinel movies, with the love interest staying constant instead of constantly changing.
In case you’re not caught up (and if not, what are you waiting for?), Before Sunrise is the story of an American named Jesse (Hawke) and a French woman named Celine (Delpy), both in their 20s, who meet on a train and spend a romantic night wandering around Vienna. At the end of their time together (which is also the end of the movie), they agree to meet at the Vienna train station six months later.
In Before Sunset, we learn that they did not meet six months later: They meet again for the first time in Paris, where Celine, who now works for an environmental organization, goes to see Jesse give a reading from his new novel. Jesse has to catch a plane, so their time together is even more constrained than before. Over the next hour, their conversation grows more and more intimate, and the film once again ends ambiguously: Is Jesse (now married) going to skip his flight and stay in Paris with Celine?
Perhaps we’ll find out in 2013. In the meantime, tell me in the comments what the next film should be called and give me a brief synopsis (where do they meet? have they seen each other since the last one?) by next Monday at 9 am. The best entry will get a (lightly used) DVD of Before Sunset, only one of the best American movies from the last decade. (Don’t worry: I have an extra copy.) The winner will be announced in the comments below on Monday morning.
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