Sometimes, when I’m on public transportation, I see someone intriguing and think of what could be. We would at first engage in small talk, which would lead to flaking on our plans to visit a record store together and steal glances when the other isn’t looking and eventually argue over a street poet’s sincerity and hang out in a cemetery. I do this partly because being on public transportation is super boring, but mostly because of Richard Linklater’s 1995 film Before Sunrise, starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. It’s everything we hopeless romantics cling to: the possibility that serendipity is on our sides and we will meet beautiful strangers throughout our lives and fall in love for a single day or a lifetime.
Because the original struck such a chord with people, there was a follow-up in 2004, Before Sunset, set in the city of love itself, Paris! That was such an unexpected gift that fans were too grateful to wish for anything more. And yet, here we are almost a decade later, with another offering, Before Midnight, set in Greece. Luckily for us San Franciscans, the film is being screened tonight as a part of the closing night of the SF International Film Festival! Sure, it’s short notice, but whatever else you have planned can be rescheduled or cancelled. To remind you of that wistful feeling these movies can give you and all the reasons why you must see this latest installment, I present you with these beautiful moments from the past two films.