I got engaged on the weekend, and so I thought I'd share a little thought on a particular film saga that has taught me a lot about relationships (for better or worse).
Before Sunrise: Strangers on a train make a pact - these things are doomed to complication, no one can remain emotionless in Vienna.
A young and idealistic film about young and idealistic lovers - a good idea turned into aimlessly wandering toward an end point they haven't fully thought through... that's your early 20s right there!
Before Sunset: She knew him once (well, twice) though he was younger then, his hurt is seen clearer at the dimming of the day.
Maturity has changed these two; they have less time, they have more depth, they have less hope, they have more baggage... we have more fun.
Before Midnight: Where are we now? How could we go back to the old stories? The old Jesse & Celine? We are as much each other as ourselves.
We are in deep, scary waters now... every word, every glance, every moment has the power to tear down an entire city. With all the lessons we learn, all that we experience; with our greater intelligence, understanding, maturity, and wisdom... we can still act like foolish teenagers; stubbornly destroying everything in our wake.
The Before movies are the embodiment of a rich and beautiful relationship - full of love, heartache, fun, frustration, pain, and truth. Linklater, Delpy, and Hawke have reached the level of the great maestros who can now play the instrument of this story with a level of skill, ease, nuance, and boldness that we rarely experience. So sit back and watch a saga that never stops giving and revealing.