Friday, January 4, 2008

Before Sunrise

Ah, folks. We need a more light-hearted topic around here, don't we? Especially because I'm looking out my window and the weather resembles the documentary on Hurricane Katrina I'm watching. Before I start my first film review of the year (woot!), let me remind you-- there are no stupid questions, only stupid people. Now, a question sometimes asked by asexuals is, "how does sex happen?" I don't mean in the "how are babies made?" sense, because if you don't know that, you're probably too young to be on the 'net reading blogs. What I mean is the "how do people go from having a conversation in the back of a streetcar to ripping each other's clothes off?" Before Sunrise (1995) helped me to answer this question. Although the movie doesn't really contain (explicit) sex, it might very well illuminate to you how sex happens-- with many, many, meaningful and lingering glances. The film, in which two strangers start talking on a train, and then don't stop talking until sunrise, feels so intimate that you might have the urge to leave the characters alone for a while. You may know that it has a sequel, Before Sunset. I saw Before Sunset first, a few years ago, and I think I preferred it-- it was just a little more complex and interesting due to the time that had passed between the characters. Sure, they're a little pretentious, but unlike Richard Linklater's other, even more pretentious films, at least they're very human.

4 comments:

The Impossible K said...

Hmm... how *does* sex happen?? I always wondered that too! I haven't watched Before Sunrise (or Sunset) yet, but this post makes me want to... just to find out! :P

rian said...

hi there. I thought this would be a good time to delurk since I love both movies. oddly enough, I preferred to think that Jesse and Celine didn't have sex that night. I loved watching them get to know each other and look/not look at each other and talk and talk and talk, but what does any of it have to do with sex? I kind of disconnected at some of those moments--even in the ferris wheel when Jesse said "seems like this would be a good time to...you know..." (kiss). and again when Celine said that she knew when she got off the train that she wanted to sleep with him. I can understand initial attraction, feeling a connection with someone, wanting to explore that connection, and even thinking "I'd rather marry you than never see you again". but I still don't get what sex has to do with it. I mean, I do, but I don't.

Ily said...

Impossible K: Glad to hear from someone who's wondered that, too! Go ahead and take a chance on the movie, it's a worthwhile viewing.
Rian: Yay for delurking! Hope you'll stick around. You know, I wasn't sure if they had sex. And according to Before Sunset, the characters weren't sure either (no idea how that's possible, but hey). Now that I think more about it, sex usually denotes some change in a story, but this story wouldn't have really changed whether or not they had sex. That's pretty unique...

rian said...

thanks for the welcome!
actually, in Before Sunset, Celine acts like she didn't remember if they had sex, but later she admitted that she remembered and that women pretend things like that. but I agree, the story really wouldn't have changed if they had or not. it really wasn't what the night was about.

I had seen Before Sunrise first, before the second movie was made, and I loved baking my noodle over whether they met up again. I remember reading comments about whether they had had sex and someone pointed out that when we see Celine in the morning, she is without the blouse that she was wearing under the dress. but I didn't want to think they did and was glad that things were ambiguous enough that I could kind of make my own story. kind of like how Celine said in the cemetery that if you didn't know your loved ones were dead you could make up the best and worst for them. I love Before Sunset, maybe even more than Before Sunrise, but sometimes I still like to think of Before Sunrise by itself and make up my own details.

=)