I get it! This movie is a miracle and I get it. Richard Linklater is one of my favourite film artists. He is all about us poor schmucks getting out all of our feelings, thoughts, convictions, and fears, all of them, out in the air, in passionate conversation.
Jesse and Celine don’t pretend to be any smarter than the comments that they may have picked up in other conversations, or read in a book somewhere, or simply had been lucky to have thought up in the moment- and that’s wonderful. They just let it all out. Every game they played felt like something a film lover and romantic would love to have done. Didn’t you want to play word games with the cover of books after seeing Godard’s UNE FEMME EST UNE FEMME?
BEFORE SUNRISE is the greatest romantic film since A MAN AND A WOMAN and I’ll tell you why. Both are pure cinema, non-theatrical, non-dramatic, just pure humanity as only cinema could demonstrate. The moment that defined everything for me was when Jesse and Celine stood outside the window of the Harpsichord player and Jesse asks Celine if he could take a photo. He stands and looks her in the eye, holds her shoulders, brushes the sides of her arms, her hair, her mouth, all so he can remember her and everything around them.
Unless you’ve seen the film or are running a site or plain weird, you won’t carry a camera with you to a movie. So, when a character dies, or flies away, or runs off to Paris forever, all you can do is take a quick mental snapshot so that you’ll never forget the character you’ve fallen in love with in such a brief span of time. I loved this movie.