Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Before Sunrise.... Before Sunset

Every once in a while, you stumble upon one of those movies that totally passed you by. I was at a party not too long ago when someone mentioned that Before Sunrise was one of their favorite films. I had decided that I would give it a shot. A couple of weeks later I picked up both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, I came home early from work because I was feeling like crap... lay in bed intending to go to bed, and put Before Sunrise on. If getting any sleep was the intention of laying in bed, putting this movie on was a ginormous mistake.

The first movie in itself is the typical story, two strangers meet, instant attraction, one thing leads to another... they part ways at the end. Hmm, sounds like the exact same setup in the beggning of August Rush ( Yes, I actually watched that too ), just stretched out and done REALLY well. You could feel the nervousness of the two characters in the beginning. Now I know that every single scene was designed to illicit this reaction from me, down to the hesitant and failed first attempts at touching each other, but I appreciate it. Makes me remember that nervous feeling that I get when relationships first start. I used to think that after getting through the nervous bit is when you get to the good part, but I've realized now that the uncertainty is why you feel so alive in those first moments. This all comes down to a theory of someone I know called "Memory Compression". Our brains tend to compress repetitive stuff since it can only hold a finite amount of information. Your brain can't compress that period of uncertainty because it's all new, so you're forced to live every moment, it's also why you remember it for so long after. Memory compression also explains why "Time flies when you're having fun".

Anyway, I digress... the movie... is dialogue heavy but sounded like the kind of conversation you would have on a night out with your friends. Some banter, some cursing, but mostly just honest. At times, if you are male, you wish you had some of his moves, and at times, if you are a woman, you wish that someone would use his moves on you. When all was said and done, the lovers parted ways, and the movie ended... but it gave you hope. How can people parting give you hope? Well you'll just have to watch the movie and find out why.

So immediately after the first movie ended, I of course could not just simply stop there, and I had to watch the sequel right away. I had to find out what happened to these two, and why would there be a sequel to something that was so perfectly wrapped up in a bow? Like the end of The Graduate, you saw the both of them sitting on the bus... sitting apart from each other... nervous, yet hopeful at the same time. Oh wait, I just looked it up... "Rumor has it..." is kinda of a spiritual sequel to The Graduate... although I don't think you can call a fictional film where the characters are supposed to be the "true life inspiration" to yet another fictional film a true sequel.

Anyway, where was I? Yes.... Before Sunset, so here we are 9 years later. The original film was set in 1995, the year it was released and the sequel set in 2004, the year it was also released. To me, that is part of the charm. 9 years movie time, 9 years real time. The characters have aged a little in reality, and Julie Delpy actually looks prettier to me older than she did when she was younger. I like the fact that she cusses in both movies too. I honestly believe that you can't fully express yourself without using an expletive on occasion. Sure, you could get the meaning across, but not the emotion behind it. I remember one time watching a little old French lady making lunch, and she dropped it on the floor. The first thing I heard from her was "Merde!". I knew then that I would get along well with her.

So... back to the movie... it's recorded in real time.... like an episode of 24 or My Dinner with Andre, but doesn't put me to sleep like the aforementioned movie. It's 80 minutes of pure movie making genius. It goes from, "Wow, I haven't seen you in forever..", to the real life glossing over of each other lives. Kind of like what happens when you meet people you haven't seen in a long time. "Oh, what do you do now?", "That's great, you must enjoy it", "How is everything else?". Honestly, sometimes to me it feels like a pissing contest. Especially if it's people you haven't met since.... high school let's say. "Oh, I work for so and so.", "I'm trying to change the world a little bit at a time". Sigh... anyway, yet again I digress.

Finally close to the end, the walls come down... and you finally see their internal struggles, the turmoil, the not so mundaneness of their lives. The kind of things that we don't tell people around us, that only happen to leak out of us at weak moments, let's say under the influence of lots of alcohol. The kind of things we sometimes tell strangers, cause we need to tell someone, and we tell them cause we know we will never see them again. Finally, the movie leaves you once again hopeful like it's predecessor did 9 years before. I wish I had watched the first one when it came out, so I could really get the full effect of the sequel 9 years later.

1 comment:

Help Save This Chic said...

Sometimes it's the simple movies like these that reminds us that real life can sometimes be more exciting than books, tv or movies.......... am so def getting the two movies