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I Don't Think I'll Ever Be Able to Articulate Just Why the 'Before Trilogy' Is So Good

By Petr Navovy | Miscellaneous | May 15, 2024 |

By Petr Navovy | Miscellaneous | May 15, 2024 |


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It must be a day ending in ‘y’, so I have to reference Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy. It can’t be helped. I require the smallest possible prompt from life to think about the Before movies. Today, it’s the fact that next week it’ll be exactly eleven years since the theatrical release of Before Midnight. Eleven years. How? How are Celene and Jesse frozen there, forever, in living stasis, over a decade ago. They’re meant to always periodically return to us! That was the promise! Alas, we do know that it’s likely that we’ll never be able to pop in to check in on the couple ever again, but what we can do is indulgently revisit and re-examine the series to numb ourselves from the terror of the real world!

One thing I was thinking about recently was about how lucky I am that the release schedule of the films in the series is quite neatly mapped onto my own life: You have the almost dream-like, technology-‘less’, hopeful vibes of the ’90s of Before Sunrise, followed up by the adolescent era of Before Sunset in which the reality of life and compromise is starting to set in but in which spontaneity also still has a part to play; and then you have the settled wisdom and complex tapestry of contentment and possible regret of adulthood that’s reflected in Before Midnight. No wonder the series resonates with me so much. Not only does it feel at times like in some ways a reflection of my life’s journey, but I’m pretty sure that I’m going to spend that life on an endless quest just trying to articulate exactly what it is I feel about these films! I may never succeed. And that’s fine. It’s in the trying that meaning is found I guess. In the meantime, other people will have to help, like YouTube channel ‘Like Stories of Old’, in which he pays lovely homage to the incomparable series: