Published in The Daily Telegraph & The Courier Mail
Dawn broke over Lake Bled and, thanks to my jetlag, I was awake to see it. I could see Bled’s jewel of an island in the middle of the glacial lake straight through the open balcony doors. I crawled out of bed to take a closer look and for the first time saw the view in the other direction. Yesterday the whole area had been shrouded in cloud; this morning the majestic Karavanke Alps loomed over me. In over twenty years of travel I have never witnessed such a breathtaking sunrise.
I cannot tell you how excited I am about the upcoming release of Before Midnight. Excited… and a little blown away. Has nine years passed already? Really?
For those of you who haven’t heard of the series, Before Midnight will be the third film that follows the love story between “Celine and Jesse.”
In Before Sunrise the young French Celine and American Jesse meet on a train… and talk. They feel so connected that they both get off in Vienna and spend one amazing night walking and talking. Yep… that’s the film: walking and talking. The following morning, as they go their separate ways, they don’t exchange numbers, but promise to meet in that spot six months later. We are left wondering if they do.
Nine years pass and the second film is released. In Before Sunset Jesse is in Paris promoting a book he wrote about that one night, and the woman who got away. (Which answers the question—did they meet up six months later?) Celine has seen a promo for the book, and goes to the reading. What follows is another walking and talking film, this time around Paris, but the characters are nearly a decade older and wiser and definitely more bitter… and also still completely drawn to each other.
And now… Before Midnight… 18 years after the young lovers first met, we once again immerse ourselves in the journey of Celine and Jesse, and ultimately our own journey too. I was about the same age as these characters when I watched the first film. I was also moving to Vienna at that time. When we met them again in Paris, the characters, their beliefs, their baggage was familiar. They were my age, my friends, me.
The films are written by Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawk, who play Celine and Jesse, and directed by Richard Linklater. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about the release of a film since… I dunno… The Breakfast Club? Anyway, it’s been a while.
I’d love to see continual instalments of this wonderful series. I just hope the next one doesn’t come round too quickly.