Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Before Sunrise & Before Sunset & Nina Simone's song

My friends and I used to have this movie night - once in a month we gather to watch films and talk all night long, even though we pretty much talk & ignore the film most of the time. lol. But last year we've seen these two films - Before Sunrise & Before Sunset, both starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. I loved them. I may be a helpless romantic (and I don't consider myself one), but I loved these two films. If you're not familiar with the story, it's pretty much about two strangers - a French chick (Celine) and an American fella (Jesse), who meet on a train in Europe. They develop a strange bond over the course of a conversation and once they arrive in Vienna, Jesse has this weird idea that they could spend the day (and the night) together in Vienna, until he takes his flight back to the US in the morning. All they do all night long is talking and sharing some intimate things and at the end of the film, they decide that they'd meet in six months in Vienna to see if the emotion is still there. They don't exchange phone numbers, addresses, nothing. Just the promise to meet in six months. And it's where the film ends. For some people and for most of my friends, who're studying all possible things - from psychology to arts - it was a nice forgettable film. I loved it. It's possibly the most romantic thing I've ever seen, because it just felt honest and unpretencious. The acting was natural and very down-to-Earth. And I loved the chemistry between the two leads. But anyway, it was this open ending, which I loved the most. Will they meet in six months? What happens? I really wanted to know, even though I didn't like the idea of a sequel.... Anyway. I was the sole person who wanted to watch the sequel right away, so I just waited for everybody to fall asleep to watch it. In Before Sunset - the sequel, Jesse and Celina meet again (ten or eleven years later). Their lives are totally different from what they were the first time they met. Nothing's the same except for the emotion. Which is still there. And this time they kind try to repress it, even though they share intimate things and talk and talk and talk. About everything. It's pretty much a talkie. But then there are these two or three really silent scenes at the end of the movie, which are really my favorites. And then there's this song Celina sings (her own) for Jesse (who still gotta go catch a flight and is terribly late; he's in Paris this time to promote the book he wrote about their one night affair). And this song is really catchy.
But then Celina talks about a singer- Nina Simone.
In the film Celine shares some memories about a concert of Nina Simone she attended, while she and Jesse listen to a song of Nina. Yesterday I finally found the CD of Nina Simone & bought it, so I can't stop listening to her songs. Just get a copy yourself! Really jazzy. And she has this amazing voice! Very characteristic. And every song makes me think of Jesse & Celine. Don't know why. ;-) I may really be romantic. Just love these films!

This here is a video of Celine performing her own song. Cute video.

I couldn't find a video of the Nina Simone song. There was one terrible video with Italian dubbing. But anyway, check her songs out!


  1. these are 2 great filmsand I am looking forward to the third instalment more than any other film in 2013. I have showed these 2 films to other people I know and they just haven't connected with them, I think you have to have a romantic sense about you to get them and connect with the characters. I wonder if the third instalment with wrap things up nicely or leave us with another open ending, whatever happens I know i'll be hanging onto every word and it will be over with far too quickly after a patient 10 year wait.

  2. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy find these 2 characters to be amongst the best and most interesting they have ever played. These films seem to be the kind that real actors want to be involved in, no special effects, no predictable Hollywood formula, there's almost a kind of natural, make it up as you go along feel to them which I think make them feel so unique to most other romantic films out there. The locations for the 2 films are great and the real-time narrative works so well in that you really feel the sense of a ticking clock counting down the precious time that these 2 people have together.