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Summarize this content to 100 words In 1989, Richard Linklater met a woman in a toyshop in Philadelphia. They walked around the city together, conversing intimately, deep into the night. For Linklater, the only thing holding him back from complete immersion in this brief encounter was the nagging suspicion that it “could be a movie”. Now it is. Before Sunrise shares the less-than-24 hour timespan of his two previous films. But whereas Linklater ‘s groundbreaking mid-20s lifestyle epic Slacker (1991) could boast not far short of a hundred characters, and his hazy but perspicacious high-school memoir Dazed and Confused (1993) had between 20 and 30, Before Sunrise puts just two characters “under a microscope to see what would happen”. Set in Vienna, which Linklater describes as being “a lot like Austin – full of smart people in coffee shops at a loss for what to do next,” Before Sunrise pursues his theme of roads not taken. Jesse – a rangy American Euro-railer, played by Ethan Hawke – persuades Julie Delpy’s smart French student Celine to get off a train with him on the grounds that this will forestall the moment in 20 years time when she will wonder what might have happened if she had. This feature originally appeared in our May 1995 issue With the same capriciousness that led it to constantly hare off to meet new people in Slacker, Linklater’s camera opts to stay with them, even when potential distractions – an arguing couple on the train, a German avant-garde theatre troupe – seem to offer more in the way of dramatic reward. Slowing down the traditionally accelerated screen romance to something which at least feels like real time proves to be a productive device, allowing compelling ambiguities to open up, not only in the characters’ relationship with each other but also in the audience’s relationship with the actors who play them and the genre they inhabit. A series of romantic set-pieces – a chance initial meeting, subsequent encounters with a gypsy palm-reader or a street poet – prove to be not quite as set as might have been imagined. When Celine and Jesse part, the camera revisits all the places they have been, and finds them diminished by their absence. Before Sunrise opened the Sundance festival, confirming Linklater’s standing as a leading American independent film-maker, even though this film is actually – like its predecessor Dazed and Confused – a studio presentation (the studios being, respectively, a supportive and hands-off Castle Rock and a somewhat less sympathetic Universal). From the voice of Generation X to the Texan Eric Rohmer, the conventional wisdoms about Linklater do scant justice to the distinctiveness of his work He is habitually discussed in terms of disconnection and disengagement, but it is for connecting and engaging that he should be most celebrated. Cinematically self-educated (excepting a term at a community college film history course: “they’d ask for two-page assignments, I’d deliver eight”) Linklater founded and is still artistic director of the nine-year-old Austin film society. His life’s work is “trying to serve the movie-making process in ways that aren’t being done much,” and straight after this interview he was jetting off to Berlin to collect a Silver Bear. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise Do you think not having any formal training helped you to find your own cinematic voice more easily? It’s hard to say why you do stuff, but I think my instinct in not going to film school was basically that I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. It’s that authority thing – some teacher saying [assumes ridiculous quavery voice] “Where’s the close up of the hands?” Or, “This story won’t work, there’s no dramatic tension.” “This story won’t work, there’s no dramatic tension,” would have caused a few problems for Slacker. Exactly. I would never have been able even to conceive of that movie if I had been in some programme whose job was to churn out people for the industry. And also I guess I was just too shy – I didn’t want to make films before I was ready. You worked on offshore oil rigs for a couple of years. Was it your ambition to make films even then? It kind of came about during that period.
Because we worked out in the Gulf of Mexico, when I was on land I had a lot of time. At that 
point I was mostly interested in writing and
 reading, but when I was ashore I began seeing
 two or three films a day at least. I was living in
 Houston which still had a big repertory theatre
 which had double features: The Magnificent
 Ambersons and Citizen Kane, Badlands and Days of
 Heaven. I had this book, The Technical Aspects of
 Film-Making. It sat on my shelf. I’d look at it everyday and think, “Some day I’m gonna open that.” It must have been frustrating going back on the rig.
 Not really, because I would just read. At sea it was all literature – Dostoevsky, whatever – but on land it was all film. Was there a corresponding conflict for you between ambitions to write or become a filmmaker?
 I think I wanted to be a writer at first – growing up in Texas that seemed the only option, though I played music a little bit too. It took me a while, and seeing a lot of movies, to realise that I wasn’t really a writer: I had a visual thing, I could see films in my head, and cinema is really my calling. If I couldn’t make films anymore I would try and get them seen, or write about them, or own a theatre, something like that – I think of it as all the same anyway. How did you set about training yourself to make films? My off-shore period should have been my second two years of college, so by the time I was 22 I had all this money saved up. I moved to Austin and brought a Super-8 camera, a projector and some editing equipment, and started studying that book A lot of film-malting — the finer points of lighting for example — is a real craft which it takes years to perfect, but the basic stuff is easy. Anyone can set some lights and shoot a scene. And I found I loved the technical aspects of it: I would blacken my windows and edit some film I just shot for 24 hours straight. I spent several years doing shorts which were really just technical experiments. Looking back I’m amazed at how methodical I was – I would do a whole film just to work on a different lighting technique. I knew it was important not to try to say anything in my first couple of years, as I would probably get really frustrated and quit, because I wouldn’t have the formal skill to achieve that thought. Finally, as a kind of culmination of all this work, I did an 89 minute Super-8 feature. What was it called? It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books. I spent two years on it: shooting for a year and editing for a year- I’ve never had that schedule since [laughs]. Has it ever been shown? We had a little film festival in Austin recently, where I showed it for the first time. A lot of people say it’s their favourite film of mine, but it’s so personal it’s kind of painful to watch. What is the film about? It’s kind of a prequel to Slacker and a forerunner of Before Sunrise, in that it’s actually all about the mind-set of travel. It’s about a trip around the US on Amtrak: more than half the film takes place on a train, the rest is just getting off in a town and walking around. It’s like one guy- me — I would put the camera on trip, push the button, then go and be in the scene. It’s very formal, the camera never moves, but there’s hardly any dialogue in the whole movie, and what there is is just kind of mumbling because the microphone is at a distance. In a way it’s the opposite of Slacker, where everybody says exactly what is going on inside their heads. In all your films there seems to be a very exact sense of history, in terms of both your own personal place in…

#kiss #takes #long #Richard #Linklater #Sunrise #Sight #Sound #archive

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