Before Sunset Richard Linklater

Probably one of the lowest grossing films to ever spawn a sequel, 1995's Before Sunrise was a true gem of the modern American cinema. In the vein of Louis Malle's My Dinner With Andre, Sunrise followed one night in the life of American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and the French Celine (Julie Deply), two 20-somethings who meet by chance on a train headed toward Vienna. Over the course of their short journey, they fall in love and in the process manage to discuss philosophy, music, politics and, ultimately, life in general. The film beautifully captured the essence of being a 20-something in the mid-'90s and more so, being a 20-something in love in the mid-'90s. Nine years later, director Richard Linklater (who has since created a wonderful array of films, most notably Waking Life, which briefly includes Jesse and Celine as characters) has decided to revisit the characters of Sunrise. Collaborating with Hawke and Deply on the screenplay, Linklater truly manages to strike lightning twice. Linklater's direction matures much like the characters, now in their mid-30s, as they reunite for the first time in Paris. Except this time the themes are a little more melancholic and the characters a lot less hopeful. Neither is particularly happy with the outcome of the past nine years and both yearn for a life as exciting as the ones they had led when they originally met. But, ultimately, the film continues Sunrise's purpose in deconstructing the human emotional state and does so in such an intelligent and cinematically unique manner that you cannot help but hope a third film is made in another decade. The DVD additionally offers a documentary called "On The Set of Before Sunset," which is informative and gives insight into the process of making such a challenging film (the film is shot in real-time and many of the shots seem endless, with each actor having to memorise pages of lines). However, this is the only special feature, which is somewhat disappointing. One only hopes a Sunrise/Sunset double edition will be released someday that will do each a little more justice. (Warner)