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Category: Non Sequiturs

This category includes posts on music, clothing, things to read, movies to see, and other things that don’t yet merit their own category. “Non Sequiturs” may also contain reviews and random fun and/or notable) things that don’t belong anywhere else.

Before…Everything

Before Midnight

Before Midnight, the highly anticipated third film in Richard Linklater’s “Before” series, comes out this week. Will I go see it the night it comes out? Probably not. But that’s not because I don’t want to see it. Rather, it’s because I am at about the same stage of life as Celine and Jesse are now. As the New York Times put it, the fictional courtship between Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is “the screen romance that defined Generation X is now officially middle-aged.”

There are a number of reasons why Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) spoke to my generation when they came out. Of course, there is the dialogue — flirty, charged, smart, and playful, yet egalitarian — that sets the films apart from many other romantic films that came before it. Celine and Jesse’s on-screen relationship developed in a very idealized way, yet also seemed very true to life and natural.

I propose that my generation also feels connected to the “Before” films because they included the element of travel. In the first movie, Before Sunrise, the two met on a train in Vienna. In Before Sunset, Jesse and Celine reunite in Paris. In the newest film, which takes place nine years after the second, the couple are now together, parents of twin girls, and on vacation in Greece. Traveling abroad, either as an exchange student (like myself) or as a post-collegiate backpacker, became more commonplace and accessible beginning in the 1990s. So it’s no wonder that Generation X relates to Linklater’s trilogy.

In advance of Before Midnight, it’s worthwhile to revisit the best scenes from “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” to familiarize ourselves with the dynamic between Delpy and Hawke’s characters. This may also be helpful given that the pair, in conversation with film critic Dennis Lim, suggests that “Before Midnight” may be more “real” than romantic.

Lim: The prior films are about the first two times Jesse and Celine meet. This one is very different: They’ve now been through a lot.

Hawke: The first two films are so much about romantic projection. The third had to be the opposite of that. We couldn’t play that trick again.

Delpy: But it couldn’t be totally taken away from that romantic idea — otherwise it’s depressing.

By the way, Richard Linklater will be doing an AMA on Reddit at 1pm tomorrow, May 22. I’ll update this post with the interesting bits later. Now, for the clips:

I just love the foreshadowing that the above scene from “Before Sunrise” has on the new film. Another fantastic scene from the first movie, which some fans have dubbed the “best conversation ever” [video on Youtube]. Below, a scene from “Before Sunset.”

Blogging for the Art of It

Writing for the TBEX conference website, Pam Mandel answers the question, “Why blog?”

Blog because you are teaching yourself to write – blogging’s time driven nature creates an excellent framework for homework.  Blog because you are compelled to share your stories – blogging is perfect for that. Blog because you can’t not write – a blog is a good place for you to see your story outside your own head, to see your work made real. The roots version of “Why blog?” is still 100% valid – because you’re having an adventure and you want to document it. Or blog for the same reasons I do, because blogging is your medium and writing is your art.

What about the whole issue of making money from travel blogging?

Don’t focus on making money today or tomorrow or next year, instead, focus on making amazing writing. Dig into the dark places the tourist office doesn’t want you to see. Tell a good story purely for the satisfaction of telling a good story. Experiment, write backwards, unravel history, ask hard questions, tell stories that leave your readers feeling dizzy or angry or exhausted as though they have made the journey with you. Turn away from all the optimizing and strategizing and monetizing and socializing because they do not have to be why you blog.

Pam will be a speaker at the TBEX Conference in Toronto this June.

via TBEX Speaker Post: Ask Me About Art – TBEX USA.

Roger Ebert on Travel, Writing, and Being Lonely

In the wake of the passing of film critic Roger Ebert, I am, like many of Ebert’s admirers, revisiting some of his writings. I was particularly struck by this essay, All By Ourselves Alone, in which he discusses his travel rituals in cities like Venice and London. He opens the piece at a familiar Venetian cafe:

Of course you must have a newspaper, a book, a sketchpad–anything that seems to absorb you. If you are simply sitting there, you will appear to be a Lonely Person and people will look away from you. If you seem preoccupied, you can observe them more closely. In any event, I do not sit there for the purpose of people-watching.

No, I am engaged in Being By Myself in a City Where No One Knows Who I Am and No One I Know Knows Where to Find Me. I have such places in many cities. London, of course. Paris. Rome. Stockholm. Edinburgh. Cape Town. Cannes. Read more

My links for June 6th through June 10th

These are my links for June 6th through June 10th:

My links for June 4th through June 6th

These are my links for June 4th through June 6th:

My links for June 3rd

So, this week I thought I would try something different with my blog. I am now employing the WordPress plugin Postalicious, which allows me to automatically bookmark all the links that I tweet then publish them in a blog post. It seems a bit redundant, yes. But at the same time, I wish I had a record of some of the tweets that I sent out years or even weeks ago. The Twitter engine keeps on moving and it’s not always easy to go back and find what you’re looking for later on.

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