The Before Trilogy Criterion CollectionExamined as individual pieces, moments are the essence of transience. Fleeting and ephemeral, they simply ebb and flow into one another -- so brief and indistinct it's hard to even say where one starts and another stops. But looked at as a greater whole, and a moment can take on the very shape of eternity, eschewing concepts of past and future in favor of a single, unified present. A single moment that has no clear end and no clear beginning. Attempting to carry audiences through this ever-expanding sense of now, Richard Linklater's wistfully romantic 'Before Trilogy' reveals the uncommon beauty of the ordinary, chronicling a once new relationship as it grows and changes over the span of eighteen years -- in front of and behind the camera. Through the three-part series, the director weaves a quietly affecting story about time and love. About a boy who met a girl on a train.

Each covering only about a day or less in the characters' lives, the installments all focus on the shifting romance between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) as their relationship goes through different phases. 'Before Sunrise' chronicles the couple's first meeting in their twenties during an idyllic dalliance in Vienna. Nine years later, 'Before Sunset' then picks up as the pair reconnect after losing touch for nearly a decade. Finally, 'Before Midnight' closes the trilogy with a look at their domestic life and struggles to stay connected.

Before Sunrise 1995 Criterion Collection
Before Sunrise is the story of an American man — Jesse, played by Ethan Hawke, and a French woman — Celine, played by Julie Delpy — who meet, by chance, on a train travelling through Europe. They strike up a conversation and, sensing a spark, decide to spend one night wandering aimlessly through Vienna before Jesse’s flight the next morning. Enjoying each other’s company in a Situationist-style derive, they talk at length about philosophy, love, politics, and anything else that comes to mind.

As the night progresses they become increasingly aware of not only their mutual, growing attraction, but also of the near-miraculous nature of their meeting and connection, which in itself becomes a recurring or underlying theme of their talks. Despite this interpersonal electricity, they agree that it would be childish and naive for two people who live a world apart to even pretend that they could stay in touch and meet again, let alone then make things work. Somewhat hesitantly, and not entirely convincingly, they decide that the best course of action is to make the most of their only night together, and then enjoy the bittersweet memories later in life.

As dawn all-too-quickly breaks the next morning, however, Jesse and Celine find that despite their best intentions a deep and incredibly meaningful connection has been formed. In a frantic minute before Celine’s train leaves they confess that they absolutely must meet again. Hastily they agree: In six months’ time, at the very same train station where they say farewell, they will meet again, at 6pm...

BD50 + DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:41:05 | 45.3 Gb + 7.37 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

Extras:

Behind the Scenes - in this archival piece, director Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy quickly address the unique nature of the relationship between Jesse and Celine. In English, not subtitled. (6 min, 1080i).

The Space in Between - presented here is a filmed conversation between director Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy, moderated by critic Kent Jones. There is an abundance of information about Richard Linklater's film career and the production history of Before Sunrise, including the casting process, and the other two films in The Before Trilogy. The conversation was recorded exclusively for Criterion in New York and Los Angeles in 2016. In English, not subtitled. (44 min, 1080i).

3X2: A Conversation - in this new featurette, writers Dave Johnson (Contemporary Film Directors: Richard Linklater) and Rob Stone (The Cinema of Richard Linklater: Walk, Don't Run) discuss Before Sunrise and some of the similarities and differences between the three films in The Before Trilogy. In English, not subtitled. (40 min, 1080p).

Before Sunset 2004 Criterion Collection
Before Sunset opened in Paris, Celine’s hometown, and here was Jesse, nine years after we left him going for a flight in Vienna. He has come to promote his new book which chronicles his special encounter with Celine (Julie Delpy) nine years earlier in Vienna. He looks older and thinner, awkwardly nervous while clarifying to a young reporter whether the girl from the book is a real person.

Moments before his agent ends the event Jesse accidentally notices Celine, casually smiling at him. They quickly leave the vintage bookstore and decide to spend the rest of the day walking through the streets of Paris. There is so much to talk about, but Jesse has only a few hours left before he heads back to America where his publicity campaign will officially end.

At first the words don't come out right because they are both reluctant to be honest with each other. But while they joke and laugh they gradually become more comfortable with each other and then more confident with their words. They remember how they felt the first time they met, and the promises they made before they parted ways.

By the time they reach Celine's apartment their conversation evolves into a painfully honest confession. The jokes keep on coming, but the frequent awkward moments confirm their suspicions that their lives could have turned out so much better had they followed their hearts at the end of that beautiful night in Vienna. Before they part ways again, Celine reluctantly agrees to sing one of her favorite songs to Jesse. It is a simple song about a girl who once fell madly in love with a guy she barely knew.

BD50 + DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:20:31 | 45.5 Gb + 7.38 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

Extras:

Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny - this documentary film takes a closer look at Richard Linklater's career and body of work as well as the evolution of his style and his success in the United States and abroad. Included in it are interviews with actors Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and Matthew McConaughey, filmmakers Kevin Smith and Jonathan Demme, writer John Pierson, editor Sandra Adair, Chuck Linklater (father), and Tricia Linklater (sister), amongst others. The documentary was directed by Louis Black for the PBS series American Masters in 2016. In English, not subtitled. (90 min, 1080p).

Linklater // On Cinema & Time - presented here is a brand new video essay by filmmaker Kogonada that examines the treatment of time and its evolving rhythm in Richard Linklater's films. In English, not subtitled. (9 min, 1080p).

Behind the Scenes - presented here is a standard archival featurette with footage from the shooting of Before Sunset in Paris and short interviews with cast and crew members. In English, not subtitled. (10 min, 1080i).

Before Midnight 2013 Criterion Collection
Before Midnight meets up with Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) 18 years after they first met on that train to Vienna. Since reconnecting in Paris, Jesse and Celine have now been together for nine years and are the parents of twin girls.

Celine and Jesse are driving through Greece, twin daughters in the back seat, and a deluge of information brings us up to speed as to where we find them. Jesse is still a successful novelist, still slightly immature, but caring as always. Celine is on the cusp of taking a job for the French government, and she is just as insightful and quick-witted as ever.

However, the two of them coming together didn’t come without its consequences and Jesse had to go through a messy divorce with the mother of his teenage son, who Jesse now regrets not being able to spend more time with.
Towards the end of a trip to Greece, Jesse ponders out loud about the possibility of moving back to America to be closer to his son. This causes some tension in a relationship that perhaps doesn’t have the same spark as it used to and Jesse and Celine spend the evening pondering whether or not the love they have for each other is a permanent thing.

Jesse and Celine finally coming together was supposedly a dream come true. However, they are no longer those two twenty-somethings who met on a train. Now they are both in their 40s and cluing into the fact that perhaps real life isn’t what it’s hyped up to be. Both Jesse and Celine are essentially the same people they were when they first met – except now they are a lot older.

BD50 + DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:48:57 | 40.9 Gb + 7.07 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

Extras:

Commentary - this audio commentary features writer/director Richard Linklater and actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. It was recorded in 2013 and initially appeared on the first Blu-ray release of Before Midnight from Sony Pictures Classics.

After Before - presented here is a new documentary feature that was shot by coproducer and actor Athina Rachel Tsangari in Greece during the filming of Before Midnight in 2016. Included in it are clips from various discussions between director Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy, as well as raw footage from the shooting of various sequences. In English, not subtitled. (31 min, 1080p).

Love Darkens and Deepens - presented here is an episode of the radio program Fresh Air in which Terry Gross discusses the production history of Before Midnight and the evolution of the main characters, Jesse and Celine, since Before Sunset with Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke. The episode originally aired on May 30, 2013. In English, not subtitled. (40 min, 1080p).

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