Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Sorry for the lack of blogging

Life seems to be taking up my time, sadly. I finally saw Before Sunset, which I thought was magnificent. (It is simply the most romantic thing I have seen in years). It was shot on a very small budget, and it shows given that the film contains an assortment of continuity errors - particularly quite noticeable changes in the light between shots. This is what happens when you only have a few days to shoot, and the film supposedly takes place in real time. You have to shoot all day long, and noon simply does not look like the evening. I was right about the locations too. As well as being cinematic, I think the Promenade Plantee has another thing going for it if you are filming on a budget. Although it looks like a part and in fact it is a park, because it is long and narrow you only have to use a very physically small area at any time. If you are filming in an actual park, you have to cordon off a relatively large area in order to make sure that people in the background and the like are not getting in the way of the film.

And the film is a little geographically challenged. Jesse and Celine walk (and go by boat, and go by car) through various bits of Paris and appear to have a continuous conversation, but the places they walk to aren't actually close enough to walk through all of them in the time they have. So director Richard Linklatter cheats a little.

A few issues of continuity driven by budget don't matter in the end, though. This film is so character driven that the only things it genuinely needed were Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, director Richard Linklater and a good script, and it got all three. Apparently the first version of the script was not in real time, featured more locations, and had a bigger budget, but they were unable to film that because they couldn't raise the money.

But in the end it didn't matter at all.

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