Monday, November 29, 2004

[Film] Sunset subtext

There are at least two types of subtext in Before Sunset. First, we have to guess how Jesse and Celine feel about each other from their conversation and body language. Second, they are withholding major pieces of personal information from each other. The script's Turning Points rely on significant pieces of backstory that the characters are aware of - but we are not.

To illustrate those Turning Points, I've broken Before Sunset into 3 Acts:

During Act 1, Jesse promotes his book and reunites with Celine. Turning Point 1 occurs when Celine asks Jesse if he showed up in Vienna.

Act 2 is the meat of their conversation and growing sexual attraction - with a Mid-point (possibly) when Celine reveals that she knows about Jesse's home life.

Turning Point 2 could start when Jesse reveals why he wrote his book or it could start in the car when Celine begins to break down, ... Anyway, it initiates a growing emotional intensity in Act 3.

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