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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE

A DISSERTATION STUDY BY SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN


PG FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION II YR NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN GUIDE: PROF. ILA JOSHI

ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE

CONTENTS

CONTENTS .................................................................................................................................. 2 PREFACE ..................................................................................................................................... 4 DEFINING OBJECTIVES ............................................................................................................. 4 WHY Before Sunrise? .............................................................................................................. 5 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ................................................................................................................. 6 FILM SUMMARY .......................................................................................................................... 7 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................ 8 NATURE OF THE STUDY ............................................................................................................... 8 y y y CHRONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT .................................................................................... 8 CONTENT, THEMES AND MEANING .................................................................................. 8 MOVEMENT AND LOCATION ............................................................................................ 8

CHRONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................................... 9 SEQUENCE BREAKDOWN ........................................................................................................ 9 EMOTIONAL FLOWCHART ..................................................................................................... 13 CONVERSATIONAL STUDY ..................................................................................................... 21 Q&A ...................................................................................................................................... 21 Body language................................................................................................................... 21 Content ............................................................................................................................. 21 FAKE CALLS ........................................................................................................................... 22 CONTENTS AND THEMES .......................................................................................................... 24 LANGUAGE ........................................................................................................................ 24 FAMILY .............................................................................................................................. 25 SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


IDEAS AND OPINIONS ........................................................................................................ 26 REFERENCE TO ART ........................................................................................................... 33 DIALOGUE ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................. 35 STRUCTURE AND NATURE OF DIALOGUES ......................................................................... 35 MOVEMENT AND LOCATION ..................................................................................................... 36 SITUATIONS AND THEMES CREATED AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE ............................................ 36 LOCATION ......................................................................................................................... 36 THEME .............................................................................................................................. 36 SITUATION AND SIGNIFICANCE ......................................................................................... 36 SUBSIDIARY CHARACTERS-INTERACTION AND SIGNIFICANCE ................................................ 38 GERMAN COUPLE- CATALYSTS .......................................................................................... 38 THEATRE ACTORS- ICE BREAKERS ...................................................................................... 38 TWO PREISTS- COMIC RELIEF ............................................................................................ 38 PALM READER- CONTRASTS THEIR PERSONALITIES ........................................................... 38 POET- VIEWER, GOD, PROPHET, DIRECTOR ....................................................................... 38 BARTENDER- THE GOOD SAMARITAN................................................................................ 39 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................ 40 BIBILIOGRAPHY ......................................................................................................................... 41

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


PREFACE
DEFINING OBJECTIVES

A film portrays incidents and interactions that occur in the lives of people. One of the factors that take any film forward is the conversations between its characters. Conversations are interactions between characters in terms of all forms of communicationverbal and non-verbal. When it comes to cinema, apart from these three ways, we also have other aspects of filmmaking aiding to a conversation, which is the visual communication- camera angles, lighting, edit structure, narrative, character styling, locations, typography, signs, colour etc. The same conversation viewed against the backdrop of a slum and a palace will suggest various meanings due to the change in context. Similarly, camera angles may make a normal dialogue seem scary or submissive. One can completely change the nature of the conversation and what it suggests through the above mentioned visual projection techniques. My interest in conversations however, with regard to this dissertation, has been to study the nature and nuances of the dialogues in terms of verbal and non-verbal communication only. In this framework, I m excluding all the modes of visual communication and analyzing the conversations with respect to chronological development, content, themes and meaning and movement and location. In these three broad categories, I believe, one can attempt to study how a conversation progresses from one point to another, and how that progress has been weaved into the narration through the marriage of words, visuals and sounds. Masses of experience, anecdote, incident, crosslights, quotation, historical instances, the whole flotsam and jetsam of two minds forced in and upon the matter at hand from every point of the compass, and from every degree of mental elevation and abasement, these are the materials with which talk is fortified, the food on which the talkers thrive. -Robert Louis Stevenson.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


WHY Before Sunrise?
Like film critic Robin Wood rightly wrote,
[1]

I knew, the first time I saw Before Sunrise, that here was a film for which I felt not only interest or admiration but love; a film I would want to revisit repeatedly over the years; one that would join the short list of films that remain constant favourites; and one that I would ultimately want to write about, as a means at once of exploring it more systematically and of sharing my delight in it with others--of finding that "magic" in the "attempt". [1]

Before Sunrise, even on first watch proved to be endearingly simple and appealing in both an intellectual as well as an aesthetic plane. The story of two people meeting on a train and having a wonderful conversation that leads them to daringly decide that they shall spend the night roaming the streets of Venice, talking, is one that is at once romantic and intriguing. Many a time, we have forged good conversations during travel. This film explores the aftermath of that first conversation, where one of them initiates to take it beyond the confines of the train and extend it furthermore. Apart from this concept, the realism of the dialogues that follow, the situations and meanderings made me realize that there was something extraordinary about this film. The characters seemed like any two intelligent modern day adults that one could associate with and the things they spoke about are almost like an anthology of the best of conversations one would have had with various other individuals. . It was simple. And that is why it was real. This film, in that way, seemed very apt in order to study about the progression of a conversation between two individuals, starting out as strangers and moving on to touch different notes, and ending(or probably beginning, in a way) as two people in the vulnerability of love.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the following people who have been grateful in many ways for this study. Professor Ila Joshi, for encouragement and guidance. Nalin Avasthi, for helping when most needed. Pratyusha Reddy, for letting me know there was a Before Sunrise . Vivek Sheth, for having the conviction that I could do this. Aparna Rajagopalan and Mayank Bisht, for being the support system.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


FILM SUMMARY
[2]

Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Celine (Julie Delpy) on a train traveling through Europe. His destination is Vienna, where a flight back to America awaits him the next morning. She's on her way to Paris, where she starts classes at the Sorbonne next week. From their first moment of eye contact, they're drawn to each other. They share a meal in the lounge car, savoring the conversation more than the food, and when they arrive in Vienna, Jesse persuades Celine to disembark with him and keep him company wandering the streets until the time comes for his plane to depart. [2] The city of Vienna is presented as a series of meetings and not as a travelogue. They meet amateur actors, fortune tellers, street poets, friendly bartenders. They spend some time in a church at midnight. They drink wine in a park. They find a way to exchange personal information by holding imaginary phone calls with imaginary best friends. They talk about making love. There are good arguments for, and against. [3]
[3]

When finally time catches up with them, they decide, just before parting, to meet once again in six months time on December 16th, in the same Platform no 9, and to not mail or call one another in between. The film closes with poignant memories that invisibly tug at us when all the places they had spent time in, once again come on screen- now empty and waiting for the morning to start in the city of Vienna.

Director: Richard Linklater Writers: Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan Stars:Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy Language: English | German | French

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY NATURE OF THE STUDY
The nature of this study is content analysis. The film was studied and the nature of the conversations throughout the film, and in specific cases, with respect to certain parts of it, has been analyzed and the findings categorized broadly in the following manner.

y CHRONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT
1. SEQUENCE BREAKDOWN 2. EMOTIONAL FLOWCHART 3. CONVERSATIONAL GRAPH

y CONTENT, THEMES AND MEANING


1. TOPICS AND THEIR DEPICTION i. Conversational Cues ii. Influence on character interaction iii. Character revelations 2. DIALOGUE ANALYSIS i. Structure and nature of dialogues

y MOVEMENT AND LOCATION


1. SITUATIONS AND THEMES CREATED AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE 2. SUBSIDIARY CHARACTERS-INTERACTION AND SIGNIFICANCE

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


CHRONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT
SEQUENCE BREAKDOWN

TRAIN AND THE COUNTRYSIDE: A montage establishing the countryside as the train passes by. INSIDE THE PASSENGER COACH: Inside the passenger coach of the train, there are a bickering German couple, a quiet old couple, a man sleeping, a man reading(Jesse), a woman reading(Celine) amongst others. The German couple s fight makes Celine shift her seat opposite Jesse, where they first make eye contact, and then begin conversation owing to the exit of the couple. INSIDE THE PANTRY COACH: Celine and Jesse continue conversing over languages, places, ideas, death etc. On reaching Vienna, Jesse expresses his wish to have met Celine earlier. THE INSANE IDEA Jesse invites Celine to get down with him to spend the night walking the streets of Vienna and talking. After the initial surprise, she gets convinced and they get down from the train. They introduce themselves. THE BRIDGE AND THE COW PLAY The two are initially awkward with one another. They meet a couple of theatre actors who invite them to a play about a cow. Celine tells them that Jesse and she are on a honeymoon. Q & A INSIDE THE TRAM Celine and Jesse try and get to know one another by asking certain questions, including, describing first sexual feelings towards a person, have you ever been in love, what s a problem for you, what pisses you off, etc. Celine seems to feel passionately for the environment, society etc and seems reactive to things that happen around her. Jesse on the other hand thinks philosophically and metaphyscially.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


y IN THE MUSIC BOOTH They pick up Kath Bloom s LP and play Come Here in the music booth. There is a sexual tension visible between the two as they stand silently, listening. MONTAGE SEQUENCE Some historical monuments in Venice are shown. Celine and Jesse are shown in a tram talking to one another. Come Here continues to play. CEMETERY OF NO NAME The topic of Death is treaded again as they walk acorss theCemetery of No-Name. They look at Elisabeth s grave and we learn about Celine s visit here ten years ago. THE CABLE CAR They look at the Prater ferris wheel and the Danube from their high perch. They then kiss. THE ROAD They dance at a streetside jukebox. They then proceed to walk, discussing family and issues that come with it. Jesse enacts a mock conversation between two priests walking across the road. MEETING THE PALM READER They are sitting at a streetside caf when a palm reader approaches them. She reads Celine s palm and compliments on her strenght and creativity apart from asking her to resign to the awkwardness of life. She comments that Jesse is still learning. Their contrasting beliefs in her are portrayed. THE STREET AND THE SEURAT EXHIBITION Celine talks about Seurat s paintings and his transitory human figures. THE CHURCH Celine and Jesse talk of what they feel about themselves, discuss religion, etc. Celine feels like an old woman inside and Jesse says he feels like a 13 year old boy.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


y WALK BY THE DANUBE AND THE POET AS they walk by the Danube, they discuss what they dislike about one another. A poet offers to write a poem with a word they suggest. He reads it out. They find it very relevant to their situation. Jesse is still a little cynical if the poet plugged their word into a pre-written poem or composed one anew. INSIDE THE CLUB While playing pinball, they talk about their ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends and Celine and Jesse discover more about one another. ON THE ROAD NEAR THE STEPS Celine and Jesse discuss feminism and male mindsets. THE BIRTH DANCE AND THE STREETS Celine tells Jesse about the birth dance. They then have a very trusting beautiful conversation about life and their hopes and fears about it. RESTAURANT MONTAGE AND THE FAKE CALLS The sequence begins with montage shots of people in the restaurant. Celine and Jesse play a game. They are to make a fake call to a friend back home and talk. This game reveals their most intimate thoughts about one another and makes it clear as to how much they really like one another. THE BALCONY OVER THE ROAD Celine and Jesse discuss about how other-worldly this evening of theirs has been. They talk about things like dreams and time. THE DOCKED SHIP Celine and Jesse decide that they won t be meeting after this night.They accept that they should not have any delusions or projections about this evening but be rational human beings and accept the practicality of it. THE RED WINE They steal some glasses and convince the bartender to give them a bottle of red wine from a pub to celebrate the night.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


y THE PARK They lie down and think if they should make love to one another or not. They finally kiss and make love. MORNING AND THE HARPSHICORD As the new day dawns, Celine and Jesse discuss what they d do as soon as they get back. They dance to the music of the harpshicord that is coming from a roadside basement window. They take a mental picture of one another. UNDER THE STATUE Jesse recites W.H.Auden s poem under a statue in a square, imitating Dylan Thomas voice. There are deep sighs and the familiarity of one another. The air is heavy with the knowledge of parting. RAILWAY STATION Celine and Jesse decide to meet six months from then, in December, in the same station, on Platform 9. Celine looks vulnerable and afraid to let go of Jesse. Jesse is also very upset at the parting. After a long deep kiss, they part. Celine gets into her compartment . MONTAGE GOODBYE Shots of all the places they had spent the earlier day together are strung together in a montage. Celine slowly dozes off in her compartment. Jesse is seen on a bus to the airport, a little sad and tired.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


EMOTIONAL FLOWCHART
INSIDE THE PASSENGER COACH

CELINE: ATTRACTION,CURIOSITY,IMPULSIVENESS JESSE: ATTRACTION,CURIOSITY,IMPULSIVENESS Celine s attraction towards Jesse is what makes her sit opposite him in the passenger car. Jesse also keeps stealing glances at her. They smile at one another when the German couple exits the car. Their curiosity is what gets them talking. They both display an impulsiveness. Jesse-in asking her if she knew German; Celine- in quoting what she read about how couples as they get older stop listening to one another.

INSIDE THE PANTRY COACH:

CELINE: NATURAL AND IMPRESSIVE, ATTRACTION JESSE: NATURAL AND IMPRESSIVE, ATTRACTION Celine and Jesse have a very natural flow of conversation that at once impresses one another. The attraction continues as is visible with the interest with which they converse.

THE INSANE IDEA

CELINE: SURPRISE, CONFUSION, DARING, THRILL, AWKWARDNESS JESSE: IMPULSIVENESS, AWKWARDNESS, THRILL Celine is surprised as Jesse impulsively suggests she gets down with him at Vienna. But after the initial confusion, she dares to embark on the thrilling journey. They both are a little awkward at the plan, but the thrill of it appeals to them. SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE

THE BRIDGE AND THE COW PLAY CELINE: AWKWARDNESS ATTRACTION, SLOW RELAXATION JESSE: AWKWARDNESS ATTRACTION, SLOW RELAXATION Celine and Jesse are both very awkward at the beginning and they accept it. There is obvious attraction between the two. Only after encountering the two actors from the wacky cow play do they slowly begin to unwind and grow relaxed and at ease with one another.

Q & A INSIDE THE TRAM CELINE: RELAXING, PASSIONATE ABOUT HER IDEALS JESSE: RELAXING, ATTRACTION Celine is relaxed in Jesse s company and is slowly talking about herself. She appears to be very passionate about various causes that remain close to her heart. Jesse s attraction towards Celine is obvious from his body language. He appears to want to touch her hair and makes attempts to do so casually. Although he fails and she doesn t seem to notice, his body language is very suggestive that he wants to hold her.

IN THE MUSIC BOOTH CELINE: SEXUAL TENSION, ATTRACTION, AWKWARDNESS JESSE: SEXUAL TENSION, ATTRACTION, AWKWARDNESS Celine and Jesse are both attracted to one another from the beginning. The lyrics of the words of the song by Kath Bloom Come Here , only further it and cause sexual tension. The silence in the music booth intesifies their awkwardness. They repeatedly steal glances at one another when the other is not looking.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


MONTAGE SEQUENCE AND CEMETERY OF NO NAME

CELINE: VULNERABILITY EMPATHY NOSTALGIA JESSE: EMPATHY Celine s obsession with death exposes her vulnerability. She empathises with the long lost lives of the people with no name in the cemetery. She also feels strongly and remembers the grave of Elisabeth, which had left a deep impact on her when she had visited it ten years back. Jesse is more or less a silent empathizer in this sequence.

THE CABLE CAR

CELINE: PHYSICAL INTIMACY JESSE: PHYSICAL INTIMACY Celine and Jesse share their first kiss.

THE ROAD CELINE: COMFORT JESSE: COMFORT, LIGHT HEARTED Celine and Jesse converse comfortably and very much at ease with one another physically as well. They disucss various topics including family, relationships etc, making their perspectives and projections known to one another. Jesse mocks at two priests walking acorss the street, in a light hearted manner.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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MEETING THE PALM READER

CELINE: CURIOSITY, THRILL, HOPEFUL, DREAMY JESSE: CYNICISM, MILD JEALOUSY, IGNORED, ATTENTION SEEKING While Celine thrills at the encounter with the palm reader, Jesse only views it with cynicism. Celine is curious about her future and one can see a lot of hope in her. Jesse on the other hand, according to Celine, was being bitter and mildly jealous because the palm reader nearly ignored him.

THE STREET AND THE SEURAT EXHIBITION CELINE: STIMULATING, THOUGHTFUL , FEAR AND LOVE FOR LIFE JESSE: THOUGHTFUL Celine remarks about her love for the paintings of Seurat. She talks of the transience in his art, especially in the human figures. Her fear and love for life is seen in the way she describes the paintings. Jesse is thoughtful and listens to her musings.

THE CHURCH

CELINE: CALM, PEACEFUL, TRUSTING, VULNERABLE, CYNICAL, SELF ANALYTICAL JESSE: CALM, PEACEFUL, TRUSTING, VULNERABLE, HOPEFUL, LIGHT HEARTED, SELF ANALYTICAL, EMOTIONAL ATTRACTION Celine and Jesse talk of their deepest views of themselves. In their self-analytical mode, they seem calm and peaceful and trust one another with these vulnerable truths. Jesse talks about Quaker religion tradiotions and stares deep into Celine s eyes in hope. Celine turns away cynically, knowing that theirs was a relationship of a day, and not one meant for a lifetime. Jesse lightens the mood with a joke. SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE

WALK BY THE DANUBE AND THE POET CELINE: PLEASANTLY SURPRISED, EXCITED, THRILL, APPRECIATION, EMOTIONAL ATTRACTION JESSE: SURPRISED, THRILL, APPRECIATION, EMOTIONAL ATTRACTION MISTRUST Celine and Jesse talk of what they dislike about one another amongst other topics. They meet the roadside poet who makes up a poem for them with the word they gave himmilkshake . While Celine is pleasantly surprised, excited and thrilled with the poem, Jesse is also mistrustful. Jesse thinks the poet might have plugged their word into a prewritten poem. But both of them share a moment of emotional attraction at the relevance of the poem in their lives. They also appreciate the poet and pay him.

INSIDE THE CLUB CELINE: UNPLEASANT PLEASANT DISCOMFORT COMFORT VULNERABILITY JESSE: UNPLEASANT PLEASANT DISCOMFORT COMFORT VULNERABILITY Celine and Jesse feel mixed emotions while discussing their ex-boyfriends and exgirlfriends, respectively. They both feel vulnerable at the end of it: Celine having revealed that she was thought to be murderous by her psychiatrist and Jesse, because he was still smarting from his break up.

ON THE ROAD NEAR THE STEPS

CELINE: STIMULATING ARGUMENTATIVE JESSE: STIMULATING ARGUMENTATIVE Celine and Jesse discuss issues about male arguments and perceptions and feminism. They then decide it is futile to argue so much and walk away laughing.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


THE BIRTH DANCE AND THE STREETS

CELINE: FASCINATION, TRUSTING, PEACEFUL , HOPEFUL , EMOTIONAL ATTRACTION, ATTACHMENT, VULNERABILITY JESSE: FASCINATION,TRUSTING, PEACEFUL , HOPEFUL , EMOTIONAL ATTRACTION, ATTACHMENT, VULNERABILITY Celine and Jesse watch the birth dance, fascinated. They then begin a talk about deeper metaphysical concepts of the magic of life, meaning, etc. They talk of their hopes and dreams about what they want out of life. They expose their deepest secrets about their perceptions. There is a beautiful silence at the end of their conversation, which helps one sense a deep emotional bond being formed.

RESTAURANT MONTAGE AND THE FAKE CALLS CELINE: HONESTY, VULNERABILITY, EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT, TRUSTING, HOPE, FEAR JESSE: HONESTY, VULNERABILITY, EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT, TRUSTING, HOPE, FEAR Celine s idea of a fake call to a friend paves way to a truthful channel to voice their views on one another. It also reveals that they have a hope for something deeper than just an evening s relationship. It is, however, also evident that neither wants to be the first one to expose how much they have fallen in love with the other.

THE BALCONY OVER THE ROAD

CELINE: TRUST, FASCINATION JESSE: TRUST, FASCINATION Celine and Jesse have established a trust that is visible through their body language. They talk in fascinated tones about concepts like dreams, time and the magical day they had spent with each other.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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THE DOCKED SHIP

CELINE: PRACTICAL, APPREHENSIVE, UNCOMFORTABLE, RESTLESS, ATTACHMENT, CYNICAL JESSE: PRACTICAL, APPREHENSIVE, UNCOMFORTABLE, RESTLESS, ATTACHMENT, HOPEFUL While both of them are being practical that their relationship shall just last a day, Celine seems more convinced than Jesse. Jesse is still hopeful that their bond shall stretch beyond.

THE RED WINE

CELINE: CHILDISH THRILL JESSE: CHILDISH THRILL, IMPULSIVE Celine steals the glasses while Jesse impulsively tells the bartender the truth and win himself a bottle of red wine.

THE PARK

CELINE: SEXUAL ATTRACTION, EMOTIONAL BONDING, CONFUSION, CLARITY, COMPLEXITY JESSE: SEXUAL ATTRACTION, EMOTIONAL BONDING, RELAXING, CLARITY Jesse and Celine are obviously sexually attracted to one another. While Jesse is sure that he wants to make love to Celine, she is confused and gives a complex reason as to why they shouldn t make love that night. Finally their emotional and physical attraction masters everything and they end up making love to one another.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


MORNING AND THE HARPSHICORD, UNDER THE STATUE, RAILWAY STATION

CELINE: PAIN PLEASURE HAPPINESS SADNESS FAMILIARITY LOVE COMFORT HOPE VULNERABILITY DISTRUST JESSE: PAIN PLEASURE HAPPINESS SADNESS FAMILIARITY LOVE COMFORT HOPE VULNERABILITY Celine is looking extremely vulnerable and clings on to Jesse. She is cynical that this might just be their last meeting, although she doesn t voice these thoughts. The familiarity with which they treat one another and the simultaneous break of happiness and sadness, love and pain, plays across their face, exposing their vulnerability.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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CONVERSATIONAL STUDY
As is always the case, the other subsidiary characters that Celine and Jesse encounter, the places they walk through or halt at, and the things that they see or use, act as conversational prompters. These people, places and things provide new topics and take their conversation in a particular flow. Apart from this, the film employs two interesting methods of forced conversation, that help reveal a lot about the protagonists.

Q&A
This sequence can be studied in two parts Body language The body language of Jesse reveals that he is physically attracted towards Celine. He reaches out to touch her hair. His hand curls behind her back on the backrest. The fact that Jesse is longing for physical as well as emotional bonding due to his breakup(which is revealed later), although known in hindsight, is visible from his body language in this sequence. He seems seeking . Celine is more relaxed and at ease. She seems to be the more matured of the two, getting over all the awkwardness and being very casual and natural. Content The question-answer pattern is generally weaved into conversations in a natural format. By weaving it as a game, the director not only makes this entire sequence quirky, but also saves a lot of time in awkward fillers that would have otherwise been needed. A lot is revealed about the characters. This is aptly described by critic Robin Wood in his essay about the film.
[1]

Celine describes her `first sexual feelings' in terms of a romantic crush on a famous swimmer she actually met, Jesse his (after evading her real question, "Have you ever been in love?"--we learn later that he came to Europe to meet a woman and they have just broken up) in relation to `Miss July, 1978', in Playboy. The answers to, respectively, Jesse's "What pisses you off?" and Celine's "What's your problem?" are even more revealing. Her answers show a wide-ranging and enquiring (if embryonic) awareness of practical realities: social ("I hate being told by strange men in the street to smile, to

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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make them feel better about their boring lives"); political (a war going on "300 kilometres from here" and "nobody knows what to do or gives a shit"); socio-political (the media are "trying to control minds" and "...it's very subtle but it's a new from of fascism realy"); sexual-political ("I hate being told, especially in America, `Oh, you're so French, you're so cute', each time I wear black, or lose my temper, or say anything about anything"). His answer, on the other hand, while it also reveals an enquiring, thinking mind, is more abstract, philosophical-metaphysical: he speaks of reincarnation and eternal souls, and the ensuing conundrum of the increase in world population: "50,000 years ago not even one million, 10,000 years ago two million. Now five to six billion. Where do the souls all come from--a 5,000-to-one split. So is this why we're so scattered, so specialized?" [1]

FAKE CALLS
The fake calls that they stage at the restaurant is a masterstroke of inspiration from the life of Julie Delpy, who played Celine. "The fake phone call scene came from something Julie did with her girlfriends as a teenager...I thought it was brilliant, so we just worked out the scene from there... RICHARD LINKLATER The fake calls are when honesty takes over in a masquerade. Things they would otherwise not reveal in a normal conversation, could easily be confided through a fake call to a person from their other lives. The suspended disbelief that Celine was actually Jesse s friend Frank, made Jesse get a little corny and describe Celine as a Boticelli angel . Similarly, the call that Celine makes to her friend also makes her reveal her fear that she might have scared Jesse away with her story of the girl-who-murdered-her-boyfriend. It also helps her easily express what she thinks of Jesse[5]

And he's so cute! He has beautiful blue eyes, nice big lips, greasy hair, I love it. He's kind of tall, and a little clumsy. I like to feel his eyes on me when I look away. He kind of kisses like an adolescent, its so cute. [5]

The end where the Celine leaves Jesse s question unanswered sets the stage for the film s endsomething that is left ambiguous and for the viewer to choose. SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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[1]

The restaurant scene is introduced (before the imaginary phone calls) by a series of shots of other customs: a mixed group at one table, two men playing cards, two bearded men conversing, a woman alone reading a book, an American couple (the man grumbling about the service), two men and one woman, laughing at a joke...other lives, other relationships, other problems. Celine's speech, and the other customers, create a context (both of lives and of ideas) for the couple's exploration (through the game) of each other's feelings and expectations, testing the possibility of a continuing relationship. I feel disinclined to dissect this wonderful sequence in detail. I would describe it as one of the film's high points, were it not for the fact that it doesn't have any low ones. The use of play as a medium for revealing truths and emotions that one can't quite dare speak `seriously' is touching in itself, in its implications of vulnerability, the desire to speak out inhibited by the fear of being hurt, the suspension at the end-Jesse's question (in the role of Celine's confidante) "Are you going to see him again?" remains unanswered--anticipating the similar suspension in which the spectator is left at the end of the film. [1]

This sequence also helps us realize that our sympathies and concerns lie equally with both the characters. We are equally interested to know what Jesse thinks of Celine as much as what Celine does of Jesse. The fact that at no point of time do we prefer one character to another, and that we continue to give the film a balanced unbiased spectatorship is one of this film s greatest achievements. That is proven by this sequence, especially, where both ends of the conversation and its responses- in terms of body language and replies, seem to draw us more into the film.

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CONTENTS AND THEMES
LANGUAGE

CONVERSATIONAL CUES GERMAN: The conversation between Celine and Jesse begins owing to Language. A German couple are seen bickering and storming out of their passenger car. This prompts Jesse to ask Celine if she understood what they were speaking about. ENGLISH: The conversation shifts to English as it is the mutual ground. Celine reveals how she learnt English when she went to school for a summer in Los Angeles and also because she stayed in London. She makes fun of him being an American. FRENCH: Celine counter questions him on his knowledge of French and Jesse narrates how he had learnt French for four years in High school. He also mentions a funny story about how, despite practicing, he forgot his French words when he was at the ticket counter in the Paris Metro station. CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION The topic of language becomes an ice-breaker between them. CHARACTER REVELATIONS [5] Cline: (laughing) No, I'm joking. I knew you were American. And of course, you don't speak any other language, right? Jesse: Yeah, yeah, I get it. So I'm the crude, dumb, vulgar American who has no culture, right? But, I tried. I took french for four years in high school. When I first got to Paris, I stood in line at the Mtro station. I was practicing. 'Un billet, s'il vous plat. Un billet s'il vous plat' you know Cline: (interrupts him, corrects his pronunciation) un billet. Jesse: 'Un' (corrected). Whatever. 'Un, Un.' (laughs) 'Un billet s'il vous plat, un billet s'il vous plat,' y'know, and I get up there, and, uh, I look at this woman, and my mind goes completely blank. And I start saying, 'uh, listen, uh, I need a ticket to get to... you know so anyway. So, where are you headed? [5]

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Celine s preconceived notions and Jesse s defensiveness about his American nationality are seen. Celine also talks in a later stage about how she hates the way people sometimes remark about the French.
[5]

Cline: Um, I hate, I hate when I am in foreign countries, especially in America, they are the worst. Each time I wear black, or like, lose my temper, or say anything about anything, they always go 'oh, it's so French, it's so cute.' (she mimics a puke) I hate that I can't stand that, really. [5]

FAMILY CONVERSATIONAL CUES: Family is one of the important topics on which their conversations run. Celine falls for Jesse when he recounts seeing his great-grandmother s ghost (which in a goof up changes to grandmother s in between). Celine and Jesse also discuss their parents. Celine talks of how her parents were constantly pressurizing her to perform. Jesse speaks of how he became a rebel spirit just to counter his parents and relatives. CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION They discuss parents as the enemy concept
[5]

Jesse: I don't really know if there is an enemy. You know, I mean, everybody's parents fuck them up. You know, rich kids' parents gave them too much, poor kids' not enough. Too much attention, not enough attention. They either left them, or you know, they stuck around and taught them the wrong things. You know. I mean, my parents are just these two people who didn't like each other very much, who, uh, decided to get married and have a kid, and they try their best to be nice to me. [5]

They discuss their parents and how their attitude towards their career and life was. This forms a predominant part of their conversation. CHARACTER REVELATIONS Celine has a constant urge to prove herself as a strong and independent icon of womanhood . This could be a possible result of the kind of competitiveness her parents fed her from when she was a child. Jesse accepts that he always had a pretty good bullshit detector from when he was a kid. His parents stopped being in love somewhere after their marriage, but tried to shield it from him SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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and his sister. This was probably a reason why he was very cynical about the palm reader and the poet. He knew that people lied and were not what they always seemed to be about.
[5]

I always knew when they were lying to me, you know. By the time I was in high school, I was dead set on listening to what everybody thought I should be doing with my life, and just kind of doing just the opposite. [5]

IDEAS AND OPINIONS Celine and Jesse discuss various ideas and opinions throughout the film. If their physical attraction brought them to talk in the beginning, it was their intellectual attraction that sustained the conversation and got them to fall in love with one another. METAPHYSICAL One of the primary topics of dialogue was the metaphysical. There is a recurring theme of death, time, transience, magic and prediction, concepts of soul and meaning, etc. DEATH CONVERSATIONAL CUES: The film is full of references to death. Right in the beginning, she is seen reading George Bataille anthology titled Madame Edwarda, Le Mort (The Dead Man.) Celine is perennially haunted by the concept of death.
[5]

Cline: You're really lucky you can have this attitude towards death. I think I'm afraid of death 24 hours a day. I swear. I mean, that's why I'm in a train right now. I could have flown to Paris, but I'm too scared. Jesse: Oh, come. Cline: I can't help it. I can't help it. I know the statistics say na-na-na, it s safer, whatever (Jesse laughs). When I'm in a plane, I can see it. I can see the explosion, (Jesse gives explosion sound effect). I can see me falling through the clouds, and I'm so scared of those few seconds of consciousness before you're gonna die, you know, when you know for sure you're gonna die. I can't stop thinking that way. It s exhausting. [5]

Even later, in the film, the two visit The Cemetery of No-name (Friedhof der Namenlosen) in Venice and Jesse talks of how she remembers the place too well from her visit there, ten years ago. SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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She also mentions, when they are sitting in the church and talking, that she feels like a very old woman- probably one reason why she is very close to her grandmother. Jesse, on the other hand, keeps referring to time and transience. He quotes W.H.Auden s poem: "As I Walked Out One Evening , in the end. CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION Throughout the film, although death is used as a reference at various junctures, it is not used in a morbid sense. Death becomes more of a tool through which they realize the importance of the now.
[4]

All the while, the couple search for evidence of things that can persist. Staying awake in defiance of that harbinger of mortality the night hoping to cheat the death of each day by stealing the time that they shouldn't even be having together, their conversations inevitably swing back to all the proofs that they see around them of the ephemeral, particularly in the realm of human relationships, where nothing sticks, where disintegration and collapse seem to be the norm. It is not merely in conversation, of course, that they hope to cheat death, but also in their burgeoning relationship. It is standard operating procedure in the romance genre to escape mortality through timeless love. In a daring bit of teasery, Linklater takes this expectation and dangles the hope for a happily ever after ending for the duration of both films. [4]

CHARACTER REVELATIONS Celine s fear for death probably makes her appreciate everything around her more than Jesse is able to. She not only understands the living moment better, she also understands the inevitability of time catching up. Jesse still feels like a young boy and is not afraid of death. His concepts of death are more metaphysical in nature. He analyses a soul splitting after death in a fairly dispassionate manner. He views death from a third-person perspective. TIME AND TRANSIENCE CONVERSATIONAL CUES: The entire conversation is stuffed to fit in a time frame. The entire time through, they are aware of passing time. But the time that is passing by is well-utilized by the duo. They frequently refer to it directly or indirectly.

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The grave of Elisabeth reminds Celine that death freezes time. She was only 13 when she died. That meant something to me, you know, I was around that age when I first saw this. Hmm. Now, I'm 10 years older, and she's still, 13, I guess. That's funny. [5]
[5]

Also, there is something very transient and momentary about the poem they get from the poet.
[5]

Like branches in the river Flowing downstream Caught in the current


[5]

Celine and Jesse also look at time against technology and conclude time is so abstract anyway . CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION The very fact that time is constantly at the back of their mind, probably is what makes their conversations more meaningful.
[5]

Jesse: I feel like this is, uh, some dream world we're in, you know.

Cline: Yeah, it's so weird. It's like our time together is just ours. Its our own creation. It must be like I'm in your dream, and you in mine, or something. Jesse: And what's so cool is that this whole evening, all our time together, shouldn't officially be happening. [5] CHARACTER REVELATIONS Jesse has a very relaxed view of time. He thinks there is a beauty and poetry in everyday life. He wants to make a TV show on the 24 hour existence of people.
[1]

Throughout the film, references to death counterpoint the continuous awareness of the passing of time (the few hours before they have to separate, the past centuries the film evokes). Jesse's sudden recognition, at dawn, that they are "back in real time" is immediately juxtaposed with their awareness of the sound of the harpsichord, and shortly followed by his imitation of Dylan Thomas's recording of an Auden poem about the impossibility of evading the passing of time, which leads in turn to their abrupt and frantic decision to meet again, just as Celine's train is about to leave. These intimations

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of mortality confer upon the relationship--however it is resolved--its beauty and importance. [1]

MAGIC AND PREDICTION CONVERSATIONAL CUES: The film has multiple references to magic and prediction. Both the palm-reader and the poet have an important role to play in this regard. The palm-reader reads the palm of Celine and comments very perceptively, asking her to resign yourself to the awkwardness of life if she wants to be the woman who can find peace within herself in order to find a true connection with others. The poet also seems to be very perceptive of their situation and writes a poem very prophetic in nature.
[5]

You have no idea where I came from We have no idea where we're going Launched in life Like branches in the river Flowing downstream Caught in the current I'll carry you. You'll carry me That's how it could be Don't you know me Don't you know me by now[5]

CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION They continue to talk about the palm reader even after. Celine mentions at having been annoyed at Jesse for being a rooster prick . Jesse even suggests they give rooster prick as a word to the poet. CHARACTER REVELATIONS Jesse s cynicism and mild jealousy is seen. Celine s strong belief in romance and magic is established.

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CONCEPTS OF SOUL AND MEANING CONVERSATIONAL CUES: Jesse believes in the concept of the soul and has a lot of profound ideas and thoughts about it. This is established in the very beginning itself, when they are having their Q & A session in the tram car.
[5]

Fifty thousand years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. Ten thousand years ago, there's like two million people on the planet. Now, there's between five and six billion people on the planet, right? Now, if we all have our own, like, individual, unique soul, right, where do they all come from? Are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls?. Because if they are, that represents a five thousand-toone split of each soul in just the last fifty thousand years, which is like a blip in the earth's time. You know, so, at best, we're like these tiny fractions of people, you know, walking... I mean, is that why we're all so scattered? You know, is that why we're all so specialized? [5]

CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION The conversations about soul, life and meaning are what lends the greatest intellectual and emotional bonding between the characters. They become more trusting of one another, and in that process, also more vulnerable to one another. CHARACTER REVELATIONS Jesse is scientific in his understanding of the soul. His expectations out of life and the greatest meaning according to him, is to mean something to someone.
[5]

Sometimes I dream about being a good father and a good husband, and sometimes that feels really close. [5]

Celine is more concerned with life and its meaning. She talks of life in a transient sense and is constantly aware of death. To her life s meaning lies in making an attempt to understand people.
[5]

You know, I believe if there's 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. [5]

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LOVE CONVERSATIONAL CUES Love is a vague term according to both of them. They ve been hurt so much in the past that they are very hesitatnt to describe it or accept it. They deny that they are in love, till the moment of parting. CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION Love, in three senses plays a pivotal part of interaction in the film. a) Initial love- Attraction: It is what sets the film rolling. b) Building love-Emotion and trust: It is what establishes their relationship c) Physical love- It is what binds them with a romance that pulls them back to one another after ten years. The fact that they had such a deep emotional conversation and just one night of physical love, adds up to a beautiful story, whose romance can never quite die. That is what sustains them over the years, and in the sequel of the film, Before Sunset, makes Jesse write a book about this, and Celine come all the way to meet him! CHARACTER REVELATIONS Love to Celine and Jesse, is not yet defined. They are apprehensive about it, and nearly scared. They have both crossed over the beauty and purity of a first love. Their respective first loves have gone wrong, many more loves and romantic encounters have blurred their concepts of the word, and made them cynical rather than trusting in what they share. That their evening together is a rare occurrence of great love and emotional depth, is something they both fail to realize. Practicality and past experience mar their view of the present, and makes Jesse hopeful but scared and Celine very cynical about their meet six months later. RELIGION CONVERSATIONAL CUES: Jesse stages a mock conversation between two passing friars. He also mentions Quaker religious practice in the church, apart from narrating the story of his atheist friend and the beggar.
[5]

Jesse: Well, I went to this Quaker wedding once, and it was fantastic. What they do is the couple comes in and they kneel down in front of the whole congregation, and they

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just stare at each other, and nobody says a word unless they feel that God moves them to speak, or say something. And then, after an hour or so of just uh, staring at each other, they're married. [5] CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION The incident with the friars and the narration of the story of the atheist friend and the beggar, show Jesse s light heartedness. Celine also does not seem to be rigid about his irreverence. The Quaker tradition, helps Celine and Jesse share a moment of deep emotional bonding. CHARACTER REVELATIONS Jesse almost suggests non-verbally, by staring at Celine, that they dare the Quaker tradition. It suggests that he finds a deep emotional and physical connect with Celine, that makes him even prepared to try a tradition of that seriousness with her. Celine on the other hand, although fascinated by the tradition, moves her eyes away when Jesse stares at her. This establishes how Celine is cynical about this relationship, despite being so deep, lasting for more than that day. FEMINISM CONVERSATIONAL CUES: The two discuss male perception of the female and female perception of the male. Celine comes across as someone who feels men utilize women.
[5]

Cline: Yeah You know, I have this awful paranoid thought, that feminism was mostly invented by men, so they could, like, fool around a little more. You know, women, free your minds, free your bodies, sleep with me. We're all happy and free as long as I can fuck (makes a punching motion with her fist) as much as I want. [5]

Jesse on the other hand argues that women also use men as they will and please.
[5]

Jesse: (Smiling and nodding in mock agreement.) Yeah? Yeah? See...see, I think there's something to that. I think on some level, women don't mind the idea of destroying a man, you know. Like, I was once walking down the street with my exgirlfriend, you know, right, and we just walked by these, like real four, kind of (twitches shoulders in a tough guy sort of motion) thuggy looking guys, next to a Camaro, you know, and one of 'em, sure enough, says, Hey baby, nice ass. You know, I mean. So, I'm like alright, Hey, no big deal, I'm not gonna get uptight about this, right?

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Cline: Yeah, plus, there were four of them, right? Jesse: Yeah, exactly, there's four of them, right, but she turns around and she says, (flips the bird to the air behind him.) Fuck you, dickheads, and I'm like, okay, wait a minute, here, right? They're not gonna come over here and kick her ass, you know what I mean? So who just got pushed to the front line on that one? You see what I'm saying? I mean, women say they hate it if you re all territorial and protective, but if it suits them, then they'll tell you you're being all unmanly, or wimpy, or uh [5] CONTRIBUTION TO CHARACTER INTERACTION Even later, the birth dance evokes a conversation about what men and women do during the birth dance ritual. Throughout there are these conversations about men-women, although on a very unbiased logical way. In the end, they decide to end the conversation saying there is no end to it. CHARACTER REVELATIONS Celine comes across as a strong woman who feels deeply about individuality and freedom. Jesse is not chauvinistic in behavior, but still has certain biases towards men. REFERENCE TO ART PAINTING Seurat s paintings help Celine explain how she feels everything is momentary and changing. POETRY W.H.AUDEN s poem is about time slipping away. It is symbolic of the time they spent with one another. MUSIC The background music that was used ranged from folk based melodies(Come here by Kath bloom) to baroque pieces(Dido and Aeneas Overture by Purcell) and classics such as those of Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi and Strauss. These music have a history of romanticism associated with them, which aids and abets the story s ambience and mood. LITERATURE Celine s found reading George Bataille anthology titled Madame Edwarda, Le Mort (The Dead Man.), once again suggestive of her obsession with death.

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Jesse is reading All I Need Is Love by Klaus Kinski (autobiography), whose title seems to suggest his bitterness at his recent break up and his search for a new love to replace the old one. ARCHITECTURE: The city of Venice, its statues, monuments, places and sights form the backdrop for the entire story. The beauty of the city and its places lends a charm and classicism to the film. DANCE The dance at the jukebox is a kind of flourish, celebrating the first kiss. The ancient Arabic belly dance for aiding birth during pregnancy, triggers the conversation once again towards deeper and more meaningful subjects. The dance at the end, to the music of the harpsichord, is almost sad, but more beautiful and full of love.

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DIALOGUE ANALYSIS
STRUCTURE AND NATURE OF DIALOGUES y The nature of dialogues throughout the film is very real. y There are no big words that are used, even concepts of art, literature, music, dance and other intellectual topics are dealt with in a conversational tone, without getting heavy and pompous. y Both characters don t take turns in talking, but interject when necessary. y Sentence length vary, with no rigid structure. There are one word answers as well as long winding conversations. y Jesse uses a lot of filler words like Um , Hmm , Yeah etc whereas Celine is more minimal with them, resorting to Ah instead. Jesse s style is owing to his American upbringing, whereas Celine s manner of speech is more European exclamation. y Jesse has an American drawl while Celine has a French accent. Celine even imitates Jesse s American style in the fake call conversation. y The grammar of everyday speech is used. y Conversations are non-literary.

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MOVEMENT AND LOCATION
SITUATIONS AND THEMES CREATED AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE
LOCATION PASSENGER COACH PANTRY CAR BRIDGE THEME Language, Relationships Language,Places, Ideas, Ambitions, Childhood, Death The Play, Places SITUATION AND SIGNIFICANCE Introduction to one another They sit opposite one another and converse, breaking the ice. The bridge is a floating structure that spans between two posts. This was the literal crossing-over from their awkwardness to comfort. Re-breaking the ice, first signs of attraction due to proximity. From opposite one another, they sit, this time around, next to one another. The silence causes sexual tension. The lyrics are suggestive. They appear to be flirting An emotional depth is added to their characters. She is nostalgic and musing. He is responsive and listening. The cemetery is a place where the cycle of birth, life and death hovers around. Their first sign of intimacy. Romantic location with a great view, on top of the world literally and figuratively. They talk of their past and present, get familiar with their lives and family. It is one of their conversation s meandering planes. Her hope and romanticism is pitted against his practicality and cynicism. Intellectual depth is added to their conversation. They get to know about each s perception of the self. Perceptions and truth in the house of God. The second occasion where her romanticism is pitted against his

TRAM

Personal, Ideas, Emotional responses, Love

MUSIC BOOTH TRAM CEMETERY OF NO NAME

Music, Silence conveying sexual tension nonverbally N.A. (song plays) Death, Time, Transience, Plague

CABLE CAR

Romance

STREETS

Parents, Fate, Relationships, Perspectives, Projections

STREET-SIDE CAFE STREETS CHURCH

Life, Magic, Future, Predictions, Perspectives Transience, Human beings, Time, Environment Reflections, Self-analysis, Religion, Romance

RIVERSIDE WALK

People, Opinions, Poetry, Romance, Time, Transience, Predictions

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practicality. Romance of the place and moment. They get to know about their past relationships. Relationships are like a game of pinball. Seems suggestive that it is a matter of luck and timing. Also seems to suggest that one must move on, once the game is over and not hang on it. Intellectual depth is added to their conversation and their individual perceptions of male and female is shown. Reveals the trust they have built and they confide their deepest fears and hopes to one another. They easily convey their opinions about one another, with honesty. The location contextualizes their lives in a parallel to that of others lives. Each one s everyday is different from another. Yet the common emotions play out in a different order. They realize that their time is running out. They decide to make a decision about the future. The water is a transient medium that is constantly flowing. It is a very metaphorical setting. Red romantic lighting setting the mood for love Open air, romance and love Very European romance, art plays an important role. The last moments are very quiet. A statue seems to be an appropriate place for such a meaningful silence. The film ends at where it beganthe railway station.

CLUB

Time, Relationships, Psychology, Perspectives, Pain, Love, Happiness, Sadness

STEPS

Feminism, Male arguments, Hypothetical situations

STREETS

Birth Dance, Time, Transience, Magic, Love, Anticipations, Hopes, Life Opinions, Perceptions, Truth, Love

RESTAURANT

BALCONY OVER THE ROAD DOCKED SHIPRESTAURANT

Dream, Time Future, Hope, Delusions, Reality

PUB PARK STREETS STATUE

Red Wine, Stealing Making love, People, Relationships Picture, Dance, Music The Play, W.H.Auden s poem

RAILWAY STATION

Future, Hope, Pain, Loss, Dream, Love, Farewell

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SUBSIDIARY CHARACTERS-INTERACTION AND SIGNIFICANCE
GERMAN COUPLE- CATALYSTS The German couple are like a catalyst that help a) Celine to move near Jesse and b) Jesse to begin a conversation with Celine.
[1]

we get the impression that the mutual and bitter animosity is habitual, perhaps that it is one of those petty squabbles that often substitute for discussions of the real marital tensions that cannot be spoken.[ ] We are also shown, in a brief single shot, an elderly couple, silent, who perhaps have reached a stage of resignation and stagnation beyond bitchy arguments and who might be taken as representing what the fighting couple will become if they remain together. This is the immediate context within which the beginning of a new attempt at relating is placed; a marvellously succinct and unobtrusive statement of the film's thematic starting-point. [1]

THEATRE ACTORS- ICE BREAKERS After the initial awkwardness of the situation, Celine and Jesse are put to ease by the quirky actors in the play about the cow, whom they meet on the bridge. They, in a way, relax the weirdness of the situation by mentioning details of their seemingly bizarre play. Somehow, after talking to them, Jesse and Celine become less uptight. TWO PREISTS- COMIC RELIEF They are a very brief part of the film to provide comic relief and show some irreverence to the surroundings. When Jesse points at the priests and has a mock conversation, it is as if Celine and Jesse live inside a bubble, where their time and space are isolated. PALM READER- CONTRASTS THEIR PERSONALITIES The palm reader exposes their differences. Jesse is cynical about her and is probably mildly jealous at the lack of attention from the palm reader. Celine nearly gets deep into the romance of the situation and is thrilled by what the palm reader says. POET- VIEWER, GOD, PROPHET, DIRECTOR The poet is the image of the viewer or god or a prophet or almost a role of the director. He composes a poem which perfectly describes Celine and Jesse s situation- a togetherness that

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will last for just a while, a companionship that is not defined but endearing, a time spent that is minimal but enriching. This poet describes the ambiguity of the future, the transience of the present and laces it with romance. This is not just what the viewer feels about the film thus far, but also, in a way what the director has staged in the movie till that time. Looking at it from another vantage point, the poet is nearly prophetic or god-like in his observation. Omniscient and with forethought, he beautifully puts across truth in his verse. BARTENDER- THE GOOD SAMARITAN The bartender is the good Samaritan in the story. He gifts them the bottle of red wine for a lark.

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CONCLUSION
The film and its conversations provide a rich study as to how to construct interaction between two individuals, strangers in the very beginning, to lead up to a familiarity and intimacy of the greatest degree, in terms of both physical and emotional nature. The themes, locations and emotions pervade a wide range, which results in an engaging film. This study, has mainly been educating in terms of research and analysis, rather than resulting in any deliverables. Before Sunrise and its sequel, Before Sunset, stand, even today as two of the best examples of realistic and beautiful conversations that any two individuals of an above normal intelligence could have. Such classics become literary references and examples from which one can derive a storehouse of knowledge. Therefore, this study, has provided a rich insight into possibilities of construction of dialogue, when any two such characters are ever to be written for any film.

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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BIBILIOGRAPHY
Jan 1, 1996, Robin Wood. Paragraph extracted from Little space in between: preliminary notes on Before sunrise. Author: Robin Wood Publication: CineAction ISSN: 0826-9866 1995 James Berardinelli. Paragraph extracted from Before Sunrise- A Film Review by James Berardinelli. URL: http://www.reelviews.net/movies/b/before_sun.html January 27, 1995 Roger Ebert. Paragraph extracted from Before Sunrise- A Film Review by Roger Ebert. URL: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19950127/REVIEWS/501270301/1 023 January 11, 2010, Dan Jardine. Paragraph extracted from Before Sunrise and Before Sunset: Laden with Happiness and Tears by Dan Jardine.
[4] [3] [2] [1]

URL: http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2010/01/before-sunrise-and-before-sunset-ladenwith-happiness-and-tears/
[5]

Script of Before Sunrise. Script by Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke * Script transcribed by Brad Cohen; Edited by Joey Huang * Source: http://sunrisesunset.wikia.com/wiki/Before_Sunrise_script

http://joeyhuangnyc.webs.com/b4sunrise01.html

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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ANALYZING CONVERSATIONS WITH RESPECT TO RICHARD LINKLATER S BEFORE SUNRISE


OTHER REFERENCES

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112471/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Before_Sunrise http://sunrisesunset.wikia.com/wiki/ http://www.filmaps.com/films/before-sunrise-ref-1687/ http://rheaven.blogspot.com/2009/02/before-sunrise.html http://crazyrals.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/before-sunrise-%E2%80%A6-brilliance-of-richardlinklater/ http://www.inproximity.org/blog/2010/7/9/sometimes-you-can-get-too-intimate-beforesunrise-and-before.html http://www.cinesarnia.com/reviews/BEFORE%20SUNSET.pdf http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Calendar/Film?Film=oid%3a138341 http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,295842,00.html http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?DVDID=10433 http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,295842,00.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/style/longterm/movies/videos/beforesunriserhinson_c00687.htm http://www.reverseshot.com/article/before_sunrise http://www.reelviews.net/movies/b/before_sun.html http://www.cinemascope.it/Issue%204/Articoli_n4/Articoli_n4_05/Love%27s%20Moment_Adri an%20Martin.pdf

SANDHYA RAMACHANDRAN PG II YEAR, FILM AND VIDEO COMMUNICATION, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN

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