Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★★★★

97

"Richard Linklater’s interest in continuous temporality is an obvious one. You only need to give *any* of his films a spin for his obsession to take hold. Although his experimentation with time within evolving interactions and environments would peak with the elongated, shaggy developments of Boyhood, the filmmaker — who would soon be criticized for his ethos during, oddly enough, his most recent output as an artist — happened to have already mined a rich, unbeatable, and brilliant diamond of a trilogy about a boy and a girl, a man and a woman, and a couple. They’re the same two people, of course, but before Linklater fully committed to the idea of observing actors grow within a sustained period, he posed a romantic premise in different stages of life, and left anything extraneous unseen but not unsaid. It’s a set of films running in practically real-time, lost in the clumsy yet beautiful dance of conversation. But the distance between each installment allows for an unspoken acknowledgement of what we’ve missed as spectators, and how relationships switch suddenly as well as gradually, within the span of a single scene or across the blank canvas of a decade."

On Time in The Before Trilogy: www.talkfilmsociety.com/columns/the-criterion-component-time-in-flux-in-richard-linklaters-the-before-trilogy

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