Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Berlin Interview: Richard Linklater Talks Making ‘Before Midnight’ & The 14-Minute-Long Shot

The Playlist By Jessica Kiang | The Playlist February 21, 2013 at 1:01PM

With “Before Midnight” being readily clasped to the bosoms of audiences and critics alike at the Berlin International Film Festival, and having missed the talent when on their promotional rounds at Sundance last month (where the film was similarly well-received, our review is here), we jumped at the chance to sit down with the film’s co-creators last week. We ran our Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy interview earlier, but up next we have director Richard Linklater -- a filmmaker we’re quite the fan of and of whom we ran a retrospective last year -- talking about bottling the lightning of the beloved “Before Sunrise” not once, not twice, but now three times over.
0
Richard Linklater Julie Delpy Ethan Hawke

With “Before Midnight” being readily clasped to the bosoms of audiences and critics alike at the Berlin International Film Festival, and having missed the talent when on their promotional rounds at Sundance last month (where the film was similarly well-received, our review is here), we jumped at the chance to sit down with the film’s co-creators last week. We ran our Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy interview earlier, but up next we have director Richard Linklater -- a filmmaker we’re quite the fan of and of whom we ran a retrospective last year -- talking about bottling the lightning of the beloved “Before Sunrise” not once, not twice, but now three times over.

How do you account for the films’ success?
Richard Linklater: [laughs] Are we successful? We always say they are the lowest-grossing films to ever spawn a sequel -- that’s what we said about the second one. And certainly the lowest grossing films to ever be a franchise, or whatever we are -- a trilogy.

Before Midnight Ethan Hawke Julie Delpy
Was it difficult to get this one funded?
It wasn’t that hard to get the money. I think because the previous two films existed, they kind of knew what they were getting. Most films you’re asking them to take some huge leap of faith into the unknown that words on a page don’t adequately describe and they’re very skeptical and fear-based. This one, it’s not that much money and they know the characters, that all helped…

[But] this one felt in a way the hardest. We were more relaxed with each other and more trusting, but it felt like we had to work twice as hard because the bar was higher. It was more difficult to make this subject matter compelling.

One of the notable differences in ‘Midnight’ as opposed to ‘Sunrise’ or ‘Sunset’ is the absence of a train or a plane to catch.
Yes, the finite-ness of those give them that little edge, but here it’s like, once you’ve dedicated your life to someone, inertia sets in… So yeah, I think we all have to ask that about our lives, what’s compelling us forward? I just think [here] the ups and downs of their lives are heightened, you know, they’re on holiday and it’s trying to be a special evening, they’ve been given this thing away from the kids.

So can we expect another installment in 9 years’ time?
You know, it just happened that way. We realized when we were shooting last summer it was also the same time period as between one and two -- it wasn’t a plan but now if there were ever to be another one, it would have to be in nine years. Also, who does nine years? It’s always ten or five.

...I told [Berlinale Director] Dieter Kosslick last night, “I’ll see you in 2022.” And he’s like “Oh, I won’t be alive then.”

Before Midnight Ethan Hawke Julie Delpy
Could you imagine having done this film around the time of “Before Sunrise”?
That was 18 years ago… We couldn’t have imagined, just like right now we can’t imagine what the next one would be; it’s impossible. We have to live a little more, 5 or 6 years more maybe. I’m older than Ethan and Julie but you kind of have to get there to understand.

So the process is organic, but how does it come together?
Once we sort of decide to do it, at that 6-year mark where we kind of go, “Ah yeah, we’re thinking seriously now, not just joking,” then we spend a year and a half just kind of throwing out these ideas, and maybe for a few months we’ll entertain an idea and keep talking about it, and then it just goes away -- it’s not practical or something else intervenes.

For a while we were thinking that maybe it was just their workaday lives, we pick up with them on a Thursday, she’s at her job and he’s doing his thing and they meet and they eat, you know, kind of what life is for a lot of people in domestic [situations]. And then we were like, that’s kind of depressing. 

We get there eventually, but we have the luxury of a couple years to think, and that gestation time is really important to us.

This article is related to: Richard Linklater, Before Midnight , Berlin International Film Festival, Interview


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates