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For Valentine’s day – Dialogue from Before Sunrise


The delight of discovery


For Valentine’s Day



Before Sunrise and it’s companion piece Before Sunset were recently voted 3rd most romantic films of all time. I’d have moved them up one slot. Amidst the commoditisation and trivialisation of romance and love that Valentine’s day largely represents – this is offered a snippet of dialogue that tries to capture something of the ineffeable experience that drives much of our lives and most of our popular Art.

Youthful Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, at the threshold of adult working lives, have met randomly on a train. They talk, become attracted and agree on a spur of the moment impulse to spend an evening in Vienna together before each goes their separate way the following day. They talk about life, love and their hopes and fears for the future.


Jesse  (Ethan)

Sometimes I dream about being a good father, a good husband, and sometimes that feels really close. But then other times it seems silly like it would ruin my whole life. And it’s not just fear of commitment or that I’m incapable of caring or loving because I can. It’s just that if I’m totally honest with myself I think I’d rather die knowing that I was really good at something and that I had excelled in some way rather than I had just been in a nice caring relationship.


Celine  (Julie)

Hmn. Yes. But I had worked for this older man and once he told me that he had spent his whole life thinking about his career and his work. And he was 52 and it suddenly struck him that he had never really given anything of himself. His life was for no one and nothing. He was almost crying saying that.  You know I believe that if there is any kind of God, it wouldn’t be in any of us: not you or me, but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something. I know it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.

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