Preview by: Jack Foley
THE long-awaited sequel to Richard Linklaters Before Sunrise
drew an enthusiastic response from audiences and critics, when
it received its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival last
The French-American love story, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie
Delpy, became a firm romantic favourite when it was released in
1994, thanks to its simple but effective tale of an American,
travelling through Europe, who has a chance meeting with a woman
on a train and spends the next 24 hours together with her in Vienna,
during which they fall in love.
That film concluded with a promise, by both people, to meet in
six months, at the end of the Americans tours, and it left
audiences divided as to whether this would have actually taken
The sequel, Before Sunset, answers that question, and is set
sometime after the original meeting, as Hawke, now a best-selling
author, meets Delpy, in Paris, at the end of a European promotion
tour for his latest novel, which was, ironically, inspired by
their brief affair in Vienna.
Only this time, rather than 24 hours, the couple have a mere
90 minutes to discuss their feelings for each other, and plans
for the future, while explaining why a tragedy prevented the initial
six-month reunion from taking place.
The original cost $2.4 million to make, but earned $20 million
(making it one of the most successful independents of the time),
while also earning Linklater (currently responsible for Jack Black
comedy, The School of Rock),
a Silver Bear, as best director, at the 1995 Berlinale.
The follow-up, which both Hawke and Delpy prefer to refer to
as a continuation rather than a sequel, is expected
to take a lot more, having become a cult favourite among hopeless
romantics the world over.
Linklater, himself, is also keen to avoid the term sequel, stating
that sequel has a tendency to mean economic interest,
whereas this simply wasnt the case.
"We did it for personal reasons," he explained. "We
had been talking about it since wrapping up Before Sunrise. We
finally got serious three or four years ago. It was only a matter
of when and how."
The film was subsequently shot in 15 days, and lasts 90 minutes,
and, for Delpy in particular, finishes something missing
While Hawke put the delay in producing the project down to being
scared, for fear of making a second film that might not
be as good.
The reaction from Berlin, however, would seem to suggest they
have got it right, as Before Sunset is one of 23 films competing
for Golden and Silver Bear awards at the 11-day festival, which
is rated among the worlds top film festivals.
The film itself will be the first film released by Warner Independent
Pictures, a unit of Warner Bros and Time Warner Inc, and is scheduled
for a US release in June.