I was introduced to this movie when I was 19, so nearly three years ago, on a retreat with my church. Namely, my youth leader, his wife and coincidentally my ex. The four of us. It was the first time I had hung out with my ex in two years, and the retreat was really a turnaround point for us.
At this retreat, they had a series of speakers that talked about various issues. The one I remember the most was a married couple that talked about how they found love, and found each other. They talked about soulmates- that you can’t actually be completed by someone else. You have to sort through your own issues and be okay with yourself and then someone can come into your life. The woman played a clip after her lecture and I had no idea what movie it was or even who the actress was but it resonated with me.
When Celine talks about how her relationships never had real meaning, that she didn’t feel anything with them.. it made me think.
I sort of forgot about this movie afterwards… and I soon got closure with my ex. I think I was starting to realize what love meant to me.. and I knew intuitively that I was still on this journey to figure out who I was and what kind of life I wanted to have. I went to Hong Kong that same year. In the hotel, I remember seeing this movie, catching little clips at first, but once I saw ”Before Sunset” for the first time, I realized there was an accompanying movie and I quickly found ways to watch that too. Now, I watch both movies a few times every year- each time I hear the words in a different way. I’m experiencing that relationship completely differently. The first time, I wasn’t in love. I didn’t really know what it meant. I just knew that was I was seeing was something I wanted to experience for myself. Then later, when my grandmother died, the scene where Celine talks about going to her grandmother’s funeral was chilling. It wasn’t Celine anymore, it was myself and I remembered how my grandmother looked in the coffin, how dead she looked. For Celine, she knew she wasn’t going to see Jesse and fate had won. I felt like fate had won too but in a different way. I still felt alone.
Something I love about these two movies is that when you first met Jesse and Celine, Celine is this romantic soul who is passionate about the world and Jesse is a bit cynical and after one night they start to change. By the end, Celine proposes logical adult decision and Jesse is ready to marry her. In the next movie, they have gotten older and Jesse has gotten even more romantic (he writes a book about that night he met her… over four years), and Celine draws away from the world. In that movie, they sexualize how they talk to each other at first, as if somehow that will stop romance. As a way of keeping their distance from one another, they talk about sex. Suddenly, they’re both smokers, and you see a jaded look about the two of them. By the end of that movie, you see that Celine never forgot about him. She never got over him and she had just closed her heart to any other relationship because she was still in love with Jesse. She finds out that Jesse is still very much in love with her.
The first movie, they leave each other trying to be adult, but they end the next movie together. There’s something so beautiful about them, something exceptionally tragic.
I just watched the first movie again for the first time in ages… and I saw it differently. It’s like knowing the difference now of what it should feel like when you’re in love. They talk about how long distance would fizzle out, and yes it usually does but in the second movie, years later, their feelings haven’t subsided. Is it possible that in one night you can fall in love with someone? It was possible for them. I guess what’s so tragic about them is that they obviously love each other. Jesse looks at Celine with insurmountable love and adoration while Celine is scared of really loving someone. But their hearts have already been given and now they face reality of separation. They live their lives without contact for years and years and still remember every detail of their time together. Every single detail.
I know someone who remembers every detail of a night in high school, five years ago now, and he talks like we really had something. But I don’t remember that night very well at all. Most nights with most guys, I don’t remember. It’s not that they always hurt me but I didn’t love them back. Not really. You can’t really be in love unless the other person feels the same way.
I think love is simple. Jesse and Celine, when you get down to it, are beautifully simple. They don’t say “I love you” ever in the films because it’s not necessary. They say “I love you” in how they look at each other, how they remember one another, and how they missed each other. I want a love like that. Maybe without the tragic separation or the miscommunication but if someone made me that happy that I could just look at them and know…
This is one of my favorite films… of all time. I highly, sincerely recommend that everyone see them both. “Before Sunrise” then “Before Sunset”. In conclusion, I’ll end with this. Time may be finite, but true love is infinite.
Bill O’Reilly asks Jon Stewart on his own show to comment on how a black, rap artist named Common was allowed to attend a poetry reading at the White House. O’Reilly is upset due to one of Common’s raps that he believes celebrates a cop killing. Stewart repeatedly points out that the artist was not celebrating a cop killing but instead writing about someone he felt was wrongly accused, writing about something he considered to be unjust. Stewart goes further to show that other musical artists such as Bono and Bob Dylan have also written about similar topics of controversy and both have come to the White House. “Bob Dylan wrote a song about a convicted killer named Hurricane Carter. He’s been to the White House. Why are you drawing the line at Common? There is a selective outrage machine here at Fox.” Stewart said. Bono wrote a song about Leonard Peltier, a man who was accused of a shooting on a reservation. The point of that allusion is that Bono wrote about the same thing and yet because of the color of his skin, O’Reilly accepts Bono’s presence in the White House over Common. He looks the other way when it’s a white man but is enraged when it is a black man. Stewart tells him that he needs to be “consistent in his rage”.
Jon Stewart may be a comedian but he’s intelligent and articulate. Bill O’Reilly is racist and ignorant. The video is roughly fifteen minutes long but is an interesting watch.
Hope you like it.. here are some more links.
Sarah Palin’s response…
Oh lovely, White House… http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/09/burn-a-bush-michelle-obama-invites-rapper-common-to-a-poetry-reading/—
Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) May 10, 2011
Favorite quote from the showdown…
“You know I don’t want to be wrong when I come on your program – because you know I’ve got ‘mad love’ for you. That’s a rap phrase.”
“Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis.”
― Martha N. Beck
The last five days have been nothing BUT transition staring me in the face.
Skyping my mom the other day I said jokingly, “I’m going to college for the third time, aren’t you proud?!”. Laughs aside, I really have gone through this transition a few times.
Going off to college is a time honored milestone that millions do each year. Traditionally, you graduate high school, and in the fall you drive to college with your parents and a car packed to the gills. Then you go through the motions of orientation, buying your books and setting up your room. Traditionally you stay there for four years. The best years of your life.
When I was 18, I started this transition of going to college and gaining my independence but I lived at home. My freedom was very similar to my high school experience, I mean it was really just like switching schools. Nothing else really changed and there wasn’t much changing for me in the short term. In the long term, my life really was starting to change. My friendships from high school changed when my friends moved away to go to school, my feelings of independence were growing stronger but for the most part it felt like extended high school. As a note, living at home is always a viable option. I got to have my mom’s food whenever I wanted and I could have my family close to me.
The second time I went to college, I was in a different country, a different culture and a different way of thinking. I also had different focuses. My parents did pack the car to the gills this time but I had an apartment, not a dorm room. I also had no rules once I was out of school. I was given ultimate freedom and eventually I embraced it- I loved/miss it very much. But I also bloomed there, and met some amazing people. But my dad is quick to remind me not to romanticize it and he’s right. Just because an experience is great in many aspects, there are also bad things that can happen. I learned how to toughen up a little more and focus on what I want.
So now it’s the third transition when it comes to college. I feel like I have done college for so long that I want to finish the first class and just get out. But I’m not going to. I learned from my second college that life is competitive and someone can always replace you. So anyways, the special factor this time is that my younger brother is also making this transition into college minded life for the first time. He’s so excited and already planning which clubs to get into. He, my dad and I drove for two days from Florida to my new college to get me set up. My dad has been to Target so many times in the last few days that they know his first name. My room feels officially set up and he went with me to get all of my books, sort out my classes, and things like that.
He’s been amazing to have around these last few days and I know he’s probably reading this so THANK YOU DADDY! I love you. I couldn’t have gotten through this without you. I know my mom is reading this too and THANK YOU MOM! your email is on it’s way. Getting back to the blog, my dad has been there to talk through a lot of things that I’m feeling or hold me when I’m feeling sad. I’m not as upset as I was before. The other side of the coin with this third transition is also the grief that has just followed and continued its place in my heart. I still grieve the loss of my Asia, and consequently have lavished my room with Asian decorations. Rooming with my cousin has ended up is Asian things everywhere because she grew up in Korea. You walk into the room and the first thing you see is a huge Korean flag.
I’m told to keep an open mind. Yes. That would be good to have wouldn’t it? If everyone was open-minded..
This transition as with any transition will change and turn into something else later on. So does this mean that I’m in the middle of a full fledged metamorphosis? I certainly feel different from the eighteen year old kid straight out of high school and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s all a good thing in the end.
I still want to go home…