Movie review: “Before Sunrise” (1995)

“This friend of mine, he had a kid, and it was a home birth, so he was there, helping out and everything. But he said that, at that profound moment of birth…uh, he’s watching his child experiencing life for the first time, trying to take his first breath, and all he could think about was he was looking at something that was going to die some day. He just couldn’t get it out of his head. And I think that is so true, you know? Everything is so finite. But don’t you think that’s what makes, um, our time and specific moments so important?”

I’m going to break sharply with structural decorum and implied spoiler policy in my discussion of Richard Linklater’s once in my lifetime Before Sunrise – because this is, in spite of what the title might suggest, a discussion rather than a review – by beginning at its end. If you are a first time viewer who, unlike me, believes that such spoilers might, indeed, ruin their appreciation of what is the most breathlessly authentic screen romance I have seen in my lifetime of attempts, please read no further and, instead, reinvest whatever time you might’ve spent otherwise occupied finding the most painless way possible to stream the movie immediately. I won’t take it personally. Continue reading “Movie review: “Before Sunrise” (1995)”

Movie reviews: “The Purge” (2013) and “The Purge: Anarchy” (2014)

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“This is the Emergency Broadcast System, announcing the commencement of the annual purge. At the siren, all emergency services will be suspended for twelve hours. Your government thanks you for your participation.”

The frustrated novelist in me hasn’t stirred for several years, though once upon a time his grand designs, non-stop pseudo-profundities, and fussy protestations were the entirety of my creative life. He had big plans indeed. Once, over the better part of a two-year period fresh out of college, I spent large chunks of my free time furiously writing, and even more fervently outlining/game-planning, my own great American novel, a conceptually sprawling yet intimate, (I thought) painfully claustrophobic, tale of desperate survival in a dystopian future. The more I worked on actually writing the most vivid individual moments, the more thought I found myself giving over to backstory and larger concepts, mentally adding characters and scenes and set pieces by first the hand and then the bucketful, until what had started years earlier as a short story in my college Creative Writing class had been officially earmarked as not just a novel but a trilogy. Continue reading “Movie reviews: “The Purge” (2013) and “The Purge: Anarchy” (2014)”