Before Sunrise: Wikis


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Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise film poster
Directed by Richard Linklater
Produced by Anne Walker-McBay
Written by Richard Linklater
Kim Krizan
Starring Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy
Studio Castle Rock Entertainment
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) January 27, 1995
Running time 105 minutes
Language English
Budget US$2,500,000
Gross revenue US$5,535,405
Followed by Before Sunset

Before Sunrise is a 1995 drama film directed by Richard Linklater and written by Linklater and Kim Krizan. The film follows Jesse (Ethan Hawke), a young American, and Céline (Julie Delpy), a young French woman, who meet on a train and disembark in Vienna, where they spend the night walking around the city and getting to know one another.

The plot is minimalist, since aside from walking and talking, not much happens. The two characters' ideas and perspectives on life and love are detailed. Jesse is a romantic disguised as a cynic, and Céline is seemingly a romantic, albeit with some doubts. Taking place over the course of one night, their limited time together is always on their minds, and leads to their revealing more about themselves than they normally would, since both believe they will never see one another again.

Jesse and Céline make an appearance in Linklater's 2001 film Waking Life. A 2004 sequel, Before Sunset, picks up the story nine years after the events of the first film.



The film starts with Jesse meeting Céline on a train from Budapest and striking up a conversation with her. Jesse is going to Vienna to catch a flight back to the United States, whereas Céline is returning to university in Paris after visiting her grandmother.

When they reach Vienna, Jesse convinces Céline to disembark with him, saying that 10 or 20 years down the road, she might not be happy with her marriage and might wonder how her life would have been different if she had picked another guy, and this is a chance to realize that he himself is not that different from the rest; in his words, he is "the same boring, unmotivated guy." Jesse has to catch a flight early in the morning and does not have enough money to rent a room for the night, so they decide to roam around in Vienna.

After visiting a few landmarks in Vienna, they share a kiss at the top of the Riesenrad ferris wheel at sunset and start to feel a romantic connection. As they continue to roam around the city, they begin to talk more openly with each other, with conversations ranging from topics about love, life, religion, and their observations of the city.

Céline tells Jesse that her last boyfriend broke up with her six months ago, claiming that she "loved him too much". When questioned, Jesse reveals he had initially come to Europe to spend time with his girlfriend who was studying in Madrid, but they had broken up when she was avoiding him while he was there. He decided to take a cheap flight out of Europe, out of Vienna, but it didn't leave for two weeks so he bought a Eurail pass and traveled around Europe.

When they are walking alongside the Donaukanal (danube canal) they are approached by a man who, instead of begging, offers to write them a poem with a word of their choice in it. Jesse and Céline decide on the word "milkshake", and are soon presented with the poem Delusion Angel (written for the film by the poet David Jewell).

In a traditional Viennese café, Jesse and Céline stage fake phone conversations with each other, playing each others' friends they pretend to call. Céline reveals that she was ready to get off the train with Jesse before he convinced her. Jesse reveals that after he broke up with his girlfriend, he bought a flight that really wasn't much cheaper, and all he really wanted was an escape from his life.

They admit their attraction to each other and how the night has made them feel, though they understand that they probably won't see each other again when they leave. They simply decide to make the best of what time they have left, ending the night with the implication of a sexual encounter between them. At that point, Jesse explains that if given the choice, he'd marry her instead of never seeing her again. The film ends the next day at the train station (Wien Westbahnhof), where the two hastily agree to meet together at the same place in six months as the train is about to leave.



Before Sunrise was inspired by a woman that filmmaker Richard Linklater met in a toy shop in Philadelphia in 1989.[1] They walked around the city together, conversing deep into the night. Originally, in the screenplay, who the two people were and the city they spend time in was vague. Linklater realized that because the film is so much a dialogue between a man and a woman he knew that it was important to have a strong woman co-writer. He chose Kim Krizan who had small roles in his two previous films Slacker and Dazed and Confused.[1] According to Linklater, he "loved the way her mind worked - a constant stream of confident and intelligent ideas".[2]

Linklater and Krizan talked about the concept of the film and the characters for a long time.[2] He wanted to explore the "relationship side of life and discover two people who had complete anonymity and try to find out who they really were".[3] He decided to put Jesse and Céline in a foreign country because "when you're traveling, you're much more open to experiences outside your usual realm".[3] He and Krizan worked on an outline. They wrote the actual screenplay in 11 days.[2]

Linklater spent nine months casting the film because he saw so many people but had trouble finding the right actors for the roles of Jesse and Céline.[4] When Linklater first considered casting Ethan Hawke, he thought that the actor was too young for the part.[5] Linklater saw Hawke at a play in New York City and reconsidered after talking to the actor. For Céline, Linklater met Julie Delpy and liked her personality. After they did a final reading, Linklater knew that Delpy and Hawke were right for the roles.[5] Once Delpy and Hawke agreed to do the film, they went to Austin and talked with Linklater and Krizan for a few days.[2]


Before Sunrise revolves largely around the twin themes of self-fulfillment and self-discovery through a significant other, charging the concept through the introduction of a twelve-hour time constraint in which the goals implicit to the two themes have to be realized. They are underlined by the poem "Delusion Angel", which evokes a longing for complete and unifying, possibly even redeeming, understanding between two partners in a world which is itself unknowable, and over which one can exercise no control.

An important role is played by the theme of spontaneous and uninhibited response to one's environment. It is reflected by the actions of Jesse and Céline, whose joint stream of consciousness, initiated by a previously unmeditated decision to leave the train together, allows them to temporarily detach themselves from the world, and enter a realm where only the other's company is of importance. It is worth noting that when the morning arrives Jesse remarks that he and Céline have again entered real time.[6]

It could be argued that Before Sunrise subsumes its main themes under that of life. In one scene, Céline and Jesse visit the Friedhof der Namenlosen, the Cemetery of the Nameless in Simmering. The people buried in the cemetery have found anonymity in death; by learning to know and understand one another, Celine and Jesse experience and embrace life, suspending their own mortality.[7]

The movie leaves audience members to decide for themselves whether Jesse and Céline will actually meet again in six months. Critic Robin Wood has written that after he published an essay on the film (in a 1996 issue of CineAction), Linklater wrote him to say that "neither he nor the two actors ever doubted that the date would be kept."[8]

The movie takes place on June 16, Bloomsday.[9][10]


Before Sunrise had its world premiere at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival.[1] It was released on January 27, 1995 in 363 theaters, grossing $1.4 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $5.5 million, more than double its budget.[11]



The film received high critical praise at the time of its release and has received a rare perfect 100% rating of positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and a 77 metascore on Metacritic. Film critic Roger Ebert gave Before Sunrise three out of four stars and described Julie Delpy as "ravishingly beautiful and, more important, warm and matter-of-fact, speaking English so well the screenplay has to explain it (she spent some time in the States)".[12] In her review for the New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, "Before Sunrise is as uneven as any marathon conversation might be, combining colorful, disarming insights with periodic lulls. The film maker clearly wants things this way, with both these young characters trying on ideas and attitudes as if they were new clothes".[13] Hal Hinson, in his review for the Washington Post wrote, "Before Sunrise is not a big movie, or one with big ideas, but it is a cut above the banal twentysomething love stories you usually see at the movies. This one, at least, treats young people as real people".[14]

In his review for the Los Angeles Times, Peter Rainer wrote, "It's an attempt to make a mainstream youth movie with a bit more feeling and mysteriousness than most, and, in this, it succeeds".[15] Marjorie Baumgarten, in her review for The Austin Chronicle, wrote, "Before Sunrise represents a maturation of Linklater's work in terms of its themes and choice of characters".[16] In his review for The New Yorker, Anthony Lane wrote, "Just once, for a single day, Jesse and Céline have given life the sort of shape and charge that until now they have found only in fiction, and may never find again".[17] Entertainment Weekly gave the film an "A-" rating and Owen Gleiberman wrote, "Small movies can be as daring as big ones, and Linklater, in his offhand way, is working without a net here. Before Sunrise may be the closest an American has come to the discursive talk gamesmanship of Eric Rohmer".[18]

Online film critic James Berardinelli has cited the film as "the best romance of all time".[19] Entertainment Weekly ranked Before Sunrise #25 on their Top 25 Modern Romances list.[20] In a 2008 Empire poll, Before Sunrise was ranked as the 200th greatest movies of all time.[21]


The sequel, Before Sunset, was released in 2004 with the same actors and director to equally positive reviews, with the review-gathering site Rotten Tomatoes logging a 94% "Fresh" rating.


  1. ^ a b c Thompson, Ben (May 1995). "The First Kiss Takes So Long". Sight and Sound. 
  2. ^ a b c d Linklater, Richard; Kim Krizan (March 1995). "Before Sunrise". St. Martin's Griffin. pp. V. 
  3. ^ a b Donahue, Christina (April 1995). "Love in the Aftermath". Film Threat. 
  4. ^ Hicks, Alice M (April 12, 1995). "Richard Linklater’s All-Nighter". MovieMaker. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  5. ^ a b Griffin, Dominic (April 1995). "Slack Jawing". Film Threat. 
  6. ^ Intertextual references highlight, and potentially expand, the notion of spontaneity. While on the train, Céline and Jesse read books that are suggestive of behavior patterns in which experience takes precedence over rationality. Céline reads a George Bataille anthology: Madame Edwarda, Le Mort (The Dead Man), and Histoire de L’Oeil (The Story of the Eye); Jesse reads Klaus Kinski's autobiography, All I Need Is Love.
  7. ^ Cf. James Berardinelli's 1995 online review, and Jonathan Romney's comments on the sequel "Before Sunset" in the "Independent" of 25 July 2004
  8. ^ Wood, Robin (1998). Sexual Politics and Narrative Film: Hollywood and Beyond. Columbia University Press. pp. 324. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Before Sunrise". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 27, 1995). "Before Sunrise". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  13. ^ Maslin, Janet (January 27, 1995). "Strangers on a Train and Soul Mates for a Night". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  14. ^ Hinson, Hal (January 27, 1995). "Before Sunrise". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  15. ^ Rainer, Peter (January 27, 1995). "Before Sunrise". Washington Post.,0,1423217.story. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  16. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie (January 27, 1995). "Before Sunrise". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  17. ^ Lane, Anthony (January 30, 1995). "Up All Night". The New Yorker. 
  18. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (January 27, 1995). "Before Sunrise". Entertainment Weekly.,,295842,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  19. ^ Review: Waking Life
  20. ^ "Top 25 Modern Romances". Entertainment Weekly. February 8, 2002.,,252562_4,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  21. ^ "Empire Features - 500 Greatest Movies of All Time". Empire. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Before Sunrise is a 1995 drama/romance film about two strangers who spend a night walking in Vienna, and fall in love with each other.

Directed by Richard Linklater. Written by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan.
When love can come as a complete surprise.taglines



  • Alright, alright, think of it like this: jump ahead ten, twenty years, okay? And you're married. Only your marriage doesn't have that same energy that it used to have, you know? You start to blame your husband. You start to think of all those guys you met in your life and what might have happened if you'd picked up with one of them, right? Well I'm one of those guys, that's me! So think of this as time travel. From then to now to find out what you're missing out on. See, what this really could be is a gigantic favor to both you and your future husband to find out that you're not missing out on anything; I'm just as big a loser as he is, totally unmotivated, totally boring, and you made the right choice and you're really happy.
  • You know what's the worst thing about somebody breaking up with you? Is when you remember how little you thought about the people you broke up with and you realize that is how little they're thinking of you. You know, you'd like to think you're both in all this pain but they're just like 'Hey, I'm glad you're gone'.
  • OK, well this was my thought: 50,000 years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 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? You know, are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? 'Cause if they are, that represents a 5,000 to 1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 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 so scattered? You know, is that why we're all so specialized?
  • I know happy couples... but I think they lie to each other!
  • Everybody's parents fucked them up. Rich kids parents gave them too much. Poor kids, not enough. You know, too much attention, not enough attention. They either left them or they stuck around and taught them the wrong things.
  • I don't know, I think that if I could just accept the fact that my life is supposed to be difficult. You know, that's what to be expected, then I might not get so pissed-off about it and I'll just be glad when something nice happens.


  • 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.
  • Isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?
  • I like to feel his eyes on me when I look away.
  • I used to think that if none of your family or friends knew you were dead, it was like not really being dead. People can invent the best and the worst for you.
  • No, then it sounds like a male fantasy. Meet a French girl on the train, fuck her, and never see her again.
  • Each time I wear black, or like, lose my temper, or say anything about anything, you know, they always go, "Oh it's so French. It's so cute." Ugh! I hate that!
  • You know, I have this awful paranoid thought that feminism was mostly invented by men so that they could like, fool around a little more.
  • We're all happy and free as long as I can fuck as much as I want.
  • I had worked for this old man and once he told me that he had spent his whole life thinking about his career and his work. And he was fifty-two 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.
  • But then the morning comes, and we turn back into pumpkins, right?
  • Well, who says relationships have to last forever?


  • Street Poet: Daydream, delusion, limousine, eyelash / Oh baby with your pretty face / Drop a tear in my wineglass / Look at those big eyes / See what you mean to me / Sweet-cakes and milkshakes / I'm a delusion angel / I'm a fantasy parade / I want you to know what I think / Don't want you to guess anymore / You have no idea where I came from / We have no idea where we're going / Lodged in life / Like branches in a 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?
  • Guy on Bridge: I am the cow!


Celine: You know what I want?
Jesse: What?
Celine: To be kissed.
Jesse: Well I can do that.

Jesse: I hard about this old guy who, uh, was watching some young people dance, and he said, "How beautiful, they're trying to shake off their genitals and become angels."
Celine: I like that.

Jesse: There's these breeds of monkeys, right, and all they do is have sex, all the time, you know? And they turn out to be the least violent, the most peaceful, the most happy, you know? So maybe fooling around isn't so bad.
Celine: Are you talking about monkeys?
Jesse: Yes I'm talking about monkeys.
Celine: Ah, I thought so...

Jesse: Do you believe in reincarnation?
Celine: Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting.
Jesse: Yeah, right. Well, most people, you know, a lot of people talk about past lives and things like that, you know? And even if they don't believe it in some specific way, you know, people have some kind of notion of an eternal soul, right?
Celine: Yeah.
Jesse: OK, well this was my thought: 50,000 years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 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? You know, are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? 'Cause if they are, that represents a 5,000 to 1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 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 so scattered? You know, is that why we're all so specialized?
Celine: I don't know. Wait a minute, I'm not sure...I don't...
Jesse: Yeah, hang on, hang on. It's a, it's a totally scattered thought. It...which is kind of why it makes sense.


  • When love can come as a complete surprise.
  • Can the greatest romance of your life last only one night?


See Also

Before Sunset

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Before Sunrise
by Clark Ashton Smith

I rose in that hushed hour before the dawn
Unveils its wonder old yet ever-new,
When still the night lies languidly upon
The earth, though stars are growing faint and few.

Up the long path I went, nor paused to rest
Along the cool, dark way, till on the hill
I stood, where dawn's first breeze my brow caressed
With mingled odorous breath and mountain chill.

To west hung heavily the drowsy night,
Weighted with fog, low-clinging, grey and dim,
Adown each valley and about each height,
Thro' which the sinking stars appeared to swim.

I turned, and lo! how pale the eastland's face,
As if it mourned the starlit night's decline,
Ere youthful Day, coming with eager pace,
With kisses should that cheek incarnadine.

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain). Flag of the United States.svg


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