Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2002 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 10 Best Films Of 2001 The 10 Best Films Of 2001 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far 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 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

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