This weekend, I watched three films in a row: Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) & Before Midnight (2013). I had heard about this trilogy, but never got around watching it. Then I found out director Richard Linklater also directed Boyhood (2014). I wanted to see whether these three movies would also captured ‘love’ in the way Boyhood captured the ‘start of our adult lives’.

The Before-trilogy revolves around Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) who meet each other on a train to Vienna. They fall in love right away and Jesse invites Celine to hop off the train in Vienna, even though she’s headed to Paris. She does. What happens in the next eighteen years, is something you should find out yourself.

Part 1 made me feel old, part 2 made me feel glad for the choices I have made in own life and part 3 prepared me for what’s next.

Linklater’s films are like therapy. They help you reflect on your own life and make you realize some of the best things are already behind you, and that you should have enjoyed them more. I don’t regret this, it will just help me appreciating the current beautiful things in life more.

I guess all art helps you reflect on your own life, it’s just that Linklater isn’t very subtle about it. He doesn’t ask a lot from his audience, and I could really appreciate that on a binge-watch Saturday night.

Published by Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst Pfauth is co-founder and CEO of The Correspondent, a journalism platform for “unbreaking news” that successfully crowdfunded $2.6 million from 45,888 backers in November 2018 and will launch in mid-2019.

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