January 30, 1995 [Before Sunrise]

Am I supposed to see F.W. Murnau peeking out between the frames, his Sunrise all those years ago shining along the edge of his flowing camera, the Man and the Wife rowing far from the Other Woman? Maybe--if only because the young couple in Before Sunrise have not yet doubted each other--despite the man's insecurity masked as cynicism, his unwillingness to be fooled by life mostly bluster--sad, sometimes, if only because the woman offers such a moment to him, such a rare whim--more like genius, inspired by her own urge to move forward into an adventurous stroll all night long.

They talk about nothing and everything, of course, and fool at each others' sleeves and the napes of their necks, children left on their own but not afraid, drawing together like Hansel and Gretel without any witches. And yes I thought of those long walks Jean and I took ourselves when we were new to each other, finding out secrets and making admissions without shame, laughing at nothing at all and quiet just long enough to remember what to say. Murnau's lovers curl hands in murderous fever or fear; here Richard Linklater lets them take the long way home without regrets--their own loss invented almost as a game, a dare to fall in love in no time at all.


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