The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

Twenty thousand leagues under the skin in 80 minutes

with 23 comments

beforesunsetYou know what they say about TV vs. movies. They say that the most talented writers these days write for TV shows that continue for years, high prestige series such as Breaking Bad and Mad Men where they’re allowed to stretch their writing muscles.

The audience wants to get to get closer to the characters than the movie format allows and the writers are more than willing to meet those demands, especially since a TV series is a job that lasts a great deal longer than a movie. It’s a win-win situation.

We’ve heard it so many times now, that it takes a multiple seasons and countless of hours to really get to know a fictional character, that I almost started to believe it. It was only when I watched Before Sunset that I realized how little truth there is in statements like this.

Before Sunset is 80 minutes long. Can you believe it? In one hour and twenty minutes we explore a lifetime of dreams, delusions and doubts. Not only do we see two people emotionally undress in front of each other. We go twenty thousand leagues under their skin.

If you add the previous movie, Before Sunrise, it’s still only 180 minutes or 3 hours that I’ve known Jesse and Celine and yet it feels like a lifetime.

That, my friends, is the magic that only a well-made movie can provide. It’s like the stable in the final book of Narnia: bigger on the inside than on the outside

I know I’m not alone in falling in love with this movie and that there are more people than I who eagerly are waiting to get the chance to see Before Midnight and see what has happened during the nine years that have passed since we last met the couple.

This post doesn’t add anything particular to what already has been said about this film. I just wanted to let you know that I too am a proud and loud member of the fan club.

Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, US 2004) My rating: 5/5


Written by Jessica

March 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Before Sunset

23 Responses

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  1. I love these film(s) as well. I almost got a chance to see a premiere of ‘Before Midnight’ (the third installment, nine years later) here in Austin at SXSW, but could not pull enough strings. I guess we will have to wait until later this year.


    March 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    • It worries me a bit that there’s absoutely none sign of the movie opening in Sweden. So far there are very few premiers noted at the IMDb page. I might end up having to wait for a long time before I get to see it. The future will tell.


      March 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm

  2. I totally missed the fact that Before Midnight exists, thanks for sharing! I’ll have to see it once it’s out here.

    I recommended Before Sunset before to you as it just might be my all time favorite and I agree, the follow-up is a great movie too.


    March 15, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    • Your recommendations turn out to be excellent almost every time (I can’t recall anything I haven’t liked of your suggestions) and this was no exception. I’m really looking forward to the new one!


      March 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm

  3. Me too! I actually think that the second movie is slighly better than the first. Gosh, they are good.


    March 16, 2013 at 12:40 am

    • They’re excellent. And I agree on holding the second one slightly over the first one. But again: it’s just nuances. They’re both wonderful. I just hope Before Midnight comes to Sweden this year. I’m not positive it will. 😦


      March 17, 2013 at 10:28 pm

  4. First off, so glad you finally watched this Jessica. Second….”We’ve heard it so many times now, that it takes a multiple seasons and countless of hours to really get to know a fictional character, that I almost started to believe it. It was only when I watched Before Sunset that I realized how little truth there is in statements like this.”

    A-MEN. I have been making that argument for years. It’s not that I dislike TV necessarily but movies are just as capable of forging an intimate connection with their characters. And I think that doing it in a movie is more impressive because of the limited run time which, in turn, makes it that much MORE intimate.


    March 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    • I’m just sitting here nodding in agreement! It’s all about how you it’s made, not about the amount of hours. TV can be very superficial and one movie can make you really connect to the characters, depending on how it’s written and acted.


      March 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm

  5. Great post. I really should see this one before the third one premieres, as I LOVED Before Sunrise.


    March 17, 2013 at 8:49 am

    • You should! I actually love it even a little more than I love Before Sunrise. Which is a lot.


      March 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

  6. I’ve never seen Before Sunset, or even heard of it! It;s added to my list! I love Linklater though, so i’m certain i’ll love it. Nice write-up 🙂


    March 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    • Thanks! You should Watch it. But unless you’ve seen it already you need to start with the first movie, Before Sunrise!


      March 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm

  7. Like you, I liked this one slightly more than Before Sunrise and they both display some really excellent writing as far as dialogue as a vehicle to explore the characters goes. Still, I’m no great fan of these “talking” movies.


    March 19, 2013 at 7:48 am

    • Oh I can never get enough of them! A nice chat, that’s all it takes to get me aboard with a movie!


      March 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm

  8. Happy to hear that you are part of the fan club. Will be rewatching the movies before the third one will be released.


    March 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    • I can’t wait to see it! Sadly it hasn’t received any launch date in Sweden. I just hope we’ll get to see it and it won’t be a direct-for-DVD release.


      March 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      • According to IMDB it will have it’s release in the summer, hope that sticks or that I’ll be able to see it somewhere else a little bit sooner…


        March 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

  9. TV isn’t becoming more like cinema, cinema is becoming more like TV

    the movie waffler

    March 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    • I guess it is when they make long series of sequels: 2,3,4,5 etc. Like double long episodes, only that you have to wait longer for them.


      March 25, 2013 at 7:24 am

  10. Yes, I’m a fan as well. I don’t think my girlfriend will like these movies but I hope I can make her see them before Before Midnight comes out. I’m as uncertain as you on whether this movie will be shown in Suisse Romande. I remember that Before Sunset was not but it was shown is the Swiss German part. Oh well I can always go see it there and if not thank god for torrents.

    Raúl Torres

    April 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    • You’re girlfriend won’t like them? Hm. I can’t imagine anyone not liking them. 🙂
      I just checked out Before Midnight again. According to IMDb it will open in Sweden in September. Yay!


      April 12, 2013 at 12:20 am

  11. […] var lite besviken på uppföljaren, medan Henke utnämnde den till en av 2004 år bästa filmer och Jessica gav den högsta betyg. Vad tycker […]

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