Before Midnight (2013) Part III


I finally watched the third and last movie of the Before trilogy, Before Midnight. Set in Greece, where our favorite couple Jesse and Celine are on vacation with their twin girls along with Jesse's son Hank; at first glance everything seems perfect, they found each other, they're now living in Paris finally together and happy. Or are they?! Henry's departure to his mother in the US, was the flame that ignites the fire or the non stop bickering... Jesse feels that he was not a good father, and would love them to move to Chicago to be near his son. Anyways, our couple talk and fight naturally and sometimes cruelly. I sometimes wanted to pause a scene just to take a breather. I didn't want to watch them like that. But you have to know that life is NOT a bed of roses, and relationships are hard to do. 

The movie is sweet at times yet horribly blunt at others. There was a scene where Jesse and Celine, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy,  were watching the sunset  and she says about the sun: "Still there... Still there... Gone!" as if she was talking about their future together. Will there be a forth chapter of the series? I think they should make another one where they meet each other after years of separation. 

While promoting the movie director Richard Linklater announced the name of the real Celine and the true story behind the trilogy, a story worth of a post of its own...

Linklater never mentioned Lehrhaupt by name in the press before promoting Before Midnight, Ethan Hawke has said that the director was uncomfortable mentioning her until “extremely recently”, but he has long made brief references to their encounter. From a number of interviews he’s done over the years. Linklater met Lehrhaupt in fall 1989, when he was visiting his sister in Philadelphia. He was 29 and had just finished shooting Slacker, and was staying there for one night while passing through on the way home from New York. Lehrhaupt was several years younger, about 20. They met in a toy shop, and ended up spending the whole night together, “from midnight until six in the morning,” “walking around, flirting, doing things you would never do now.” As in Before Sunrise, most of what they did was talk, “about art, science, film, the gamut.” Did they kiss? Yes. Did they have sex? The Times went so far as to ask Linklater in a recent interview, but he said he wants to “leave a little mystery.”

In a 2004 interview with the New York Times, he remembered “walking around [thinking], ‘If I could just capture this feeling I’m having right now,’ instead of actually having that feeling.” On an episode of the podcast The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, he recalled mentioning the movie idea to Lehrhaupt that night:
Even as that experience was going on … I was like, “I’m gonna make a film about this.” And she was like, “What ‘this’? What are you talking about?” And I was like, “Just this. This feeling. This thing that’s going on between us.”
But as the night came to an end, the paths of Linklater and Lehrhaupt began to diverge from the fictional storyline of Jesse and Celine. Linklater revealed that the ending of Before Sunrise was in part a response to what happened with him and Lehrhaupt. Unlike Jesse and Celine, who agree to reconvene in six months, the real-life young lovers exchanged numbers and tried to keep in touch while they were away. They called each other a few times, but it was “that long distance thing” that did them in.
Linklater soon became involved with another woman, and he and Lehrhaupt never talked again. He did think that maybe “she would show up at a Before Sunrise screening or something.” In Before Sunset, Celine shows up at a reading of Jesse’s book This Time, which is based on their night together. “It would be so weird,” he said, in 2004. But she never did.

Linklater didn’t know then that Lehrhaupt had died in a motorcycle accident on May 9, 1994, before she reached her 25th birthday. Before Sunrise started filming a few weeks later. Linklater only learned of her death three years ago, when a friend of Lehrhaupt’s, who knew about the encounter, put it together and sent him a letter. “It was very sad,” Linklater told the Times. Ethan Hawke was similarly devastated when he heard it, though he reminded Linklater that if he hadn’t met her, then he never would have made these movies or met some of the people who worked on them with him. “Who knows how we reverberate through each other’s lives,” Linklater reflected in another interview, “But she’s an inspiration on this.”
In a way, Linklater did find another way to make that feeling, that “thing in the air” they once had between them, last: He turned it into cinema.


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