I re-watched what I might venture to name my favourite movie last night. Before Sunrise follows the meeting of two young strangers on a train. They spend a night walking and talking through Vienna. Their conversations are honest and equally hopeful and skeptical. They ask the questions we have all felt inside, but perhaps not voiced. It’s a philosophical look at life and love through the eyes of two young adults who make a chance connection.
Here are some of my favourite quotes from the movie:
On parental influences…
“I could never get very excited about other people’s ambitions for my life.” -Jesse
On the death of the young…
“Now I’m ten years older, and she’s still 13, I guess.”-Celine
On the magic inside of us…
“Everything we know is stardust. So don’t forget, you are stardust!” -Palm Reader
“If there was any kind of God, he wouldn’t be in anyone. Not in you, or me… but just in the little space in between.” -Celine
“I like the idea of dancing being a common function in life: something everyone participates in.” -Celine
On life as a process and journey…
“It’s nearly impossible to succeed… but who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt.” -Celine
“Everything is so finite. That’s what makes our time and specific moments so important.” -Jesse
Apart from the piercing conversation, I love the simple cinematography. It in no way detracts from the dialogue (which is what I believe to be the best part of this film, without question). Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy take this beautiful screenplay and really own it. I could watch it over and over again.
This movie was followed up with two sequels, Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2012), (using Hawke and Delpy again) both equally as open about the real issues that come up when you’ve chosen someone to love.
If you decide to watch this movie, go into it with an open mind, a notebook and a quiet environment. Every time I watch it, I find myself with more thoughts and questions. I find more quotes that penetrate my heart and cause me to examine the way I view the world.