The secret behind Richard Linklater's "Before Sunrise," is that it's about the kind of conversations and chance encounters that we have everyday, and yet, the movie remains elusive, 'cause it's about the kinds of conversations and chance encounters we wished we had, or more importantly, the kinds of opportunities most of us wish we had taken advantage of (or maybe the ones we did). Some of you may know that the majority of these "Canon of Films" blog entries I write are prewritten before I post them. What you've just read is what I have written today. In a moment, you'll read what I wrote about "Before Sunrise," a few years ago, with nothing changed except for grammer errors (all the content is originally what I wrote), and I'm going to point out some things about what I wrote. It was written at a very specific moment in time in my life, and you'll be able to tell that.
The paragraph below is what I previously wrote:
I wanted to reveal that to you all for a few different reasons. One, to show you how terrible my writing can be sometimes, and two, more importantly, to explain how "Before Sunrise," gets at me personally. I can't imagine the film not getting to anybody on a deeply personal level. If it doesn't, I would wonder if that person had a pulse, or has ever lived to begin with. Remember the famous Everett Sloane monologue in "Citizen Kane," where Bernstein discussing having seen a woman in his youth on a ferry, never speaking to her, doubting that she'd even seen him, but continually thinking about that woman, even in his old age. I imagine most people have had such an encounter, maybe dozens or random conversations with strangers on a train or a bus, or in line at a supermarket, or wherever they might be...., and "Before Sunrise," might be what happened if he did talk to her.
It's somewhat frustrating to me that everytime I try to talk about "Before Sunrise," I always end up in a philosophical discussion. A wonderful one, kinda like the ones Jesse and Celine have all over Vienna, but it's tough talking about the film as a movie. Yes, I discussed it in my previous analysis, but only briefly. And yet, to describe the movie, would basically be a description of scenes from one to another, and even then, some might throw the film away as a remake of David Lean's great film "Brief Encounter". Sure, there's dozens of obvious comparisons, not the least of which, the ending on the train, but that's still too simple. For one thing, these aren't adults sharing a private night of personal emotions neither will reveal to themselves or anybody else again. "Before Sunrise," is immediate. They're two people who don't realize they'll get an experience that both will look fondly and tell stories about for the rest of their lives. They still might end up together, someday maybe..., but for the moment, they have a day and night, the city of Vienna, and a lifetime ahead of them.
Oh, because I'm sure you're all interested now, I never saw or found the Valerie girl again, and since Sen. John Ensign has since resigned in disgrace, I don't feel as bad about calling him an asshole, although I still occasionally wonder about Valerie.
I won't reveal the girl's name who left me the note, but I did meet her a few times. She looked a little like Laura Dern in "Blue Velvet" I remember, only with a long black trenchcoat, but we soon realized we weren't particularly compatible, even as just acquaintances at that time. There's a funny anecdote I tell about her where we broke up before we started dating, which stemmed from an argument we had over what constituted a date, but that's a long and mostly uninteresting story, and much of it has long been exaggerated by me for humorous effect. It's not worth going into really now.