June 16,1994, on a train travelling from Budapest, 23-year-old Sorbonne student Celine sits near Jesse, a heartbroken backpacker on his way to Vienna to catch a flight home to America. He’s reading Klaus Kinski’s memoir All I Need Is Love, she’s holding a collection of erotic short stories by French intellectual George Bataille. Conversation flows.
The seemingly innocuous start to Before Sunset has spawned an unlikely movie trilogy. There may be no explosions or superheroes, or even a plot – just a couple talking about love and relationships – yet it’s kept audiences enthralled for two decades. “We always say they are the lowest grossing films to spawn sequels,” says director Richard Linklater. “And certainly the lowest grossing films to be a franchise or whatever we are now – a trilogy!”
Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and now Before Midnight have become key works in the careers of director Richard Linklater and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.