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Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke on “Before Sunrise”

The “Before Trilogy” is probably one of the most famous trilogies in the history of Cinema. “Before Sunrise”, “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” present the stories of Jesse and Céline throughout the years of their relationship. Richard Linklater is the director of the three movies and also the co-writer in all three of them (Kim Krizan is the co-writer in the first two movies and Hawke with Delpy the co-writers in the second and the third one).

All three films focus mostly on the two characters. There are many monologues of the two characters or dialogues between them. An exploration of romance, love and death in a postmodern era, the films have received critical acclaim worldwide and they were also commercial success.

However, not many people know that the first movie, “Before Sunrise”, is actually a true story based on an experience Richard Linklater had a couple years before starting writing and directing his movie.

“Before Sunrise” is the story of Jesse, an American student travelling around Europe and Céline, a French student who is visiting her relatives. They meet in a train and they decide to spend the night together in Vienna. They wander around the city and they start falling in love. Although they take separate ways, they decide to meet again in the future.

In real life, or to be more accurate, in Richard Linklater’s life, things did not go so smooth. In Philadelphia, in 1989, Richard met Amy in a toy store. He was 29 and she was in her early 20’s. They spent the whole night together, wandering around the city, talking about many topics and flirting. They separated at six o’clock in the morning, promising to see each other again.

The years passed and the movie was released in 1995. Linklater was hoping that after the movie, Amy would recognize her story with him and she would come to find him (something similar happens in the second movie, “Before Sunset”). But, she never showed up.

Many years later, before releasing the third part of the trilogy, “Before Midnight”, Linklater found out that Amy had died in a motorcycle accident in 1994, just a few months before the release of his first movie. Amy never saw her story on the big screen. Such a tragic end for one of the best romantic stories in the history of Cinema.

In the article below, you can find Roger Ebert’s review about the movie:

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