December 2017
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Vienna:

I’m going to win an award for stating the bloody obvious here, but there are a lot of compromises that get made when you start a family. Trips to the cinema or to gigs become a rare event, and the opportunities to sit down at a weekend and watch a DVD become limited. Unless it’s a kids DVD.

None of this is complaining, by the way.

But it’s a way of explaining (to myself, mostly) why I’ve missed out on so many films over the past ten years, and (as per the previous post) why I’m suddenly finding out about bands that I should have been listening to already.

Back when I still lived with my parents, I had a huge noticeboard in my room. I pinned up pictures and articles that I liked. As well as having a Melody Maker review of ‘Slanted & Enchanted’ it had a full page article from the Independent on Sunday about three young new American film makers. They were Hal Hartley, Whit Stillman and Richard Linklater. I’d probably date it around 1991 or 1992. Slacker was the only film to Linklater’s name. At the time, I loved the work of those first two directors, and I had enjoyed Slacker. When ‘Dazed & Confused’ subsequently came out, the admiration that I’d had for his first work turned into infatuation.

But, over the years, I’ve kinda lost track of him. On one of my first trips to America, I bought ‘Suburbia’ on VHS, so I was obviously still a fan, but he moved across to Hollywood (whilst the other two didn’t really) and my interest dimmed.

Recently, Barnes and Noble had a 50% deal on Criterion Collection DVDs, which I always find hard to resist. As the kids are getting older, we’re finding slightly more time to sit down of an evening and watch a film. So we watched ‘Boyhood’, which is phenomenal. I’ll come back to that another day.

And I ordered the ‘Before Trilogy’ as well. I’d enjoyed ‘Before Sunrise’ back in the day, but I’ve not seen the subsequent films. This Criterion edition is goregeous, each film packaged to look like a romance novel, and we settled down to watch the first film again yesterday.

Maybe it’s because I’m 20 years older (and some) than when I first watched it, but it impacted me much more than it did previously. Hawke and Delpy seem so real, exploring that first rush of attraction in that one night in Vienna, knowing that it’s going to come to an end sooner rather than later. We talked about it after, and it reminded me of our first dates, where we talked and talked and talked, without really talking, and it reminded Mrs M of her times that she spent travelling. So I guess it would make more of an emotional dent in us now. I guess also, there’s a degree of looking back – it makes you nostalgic for a simpler time, when we weren’t all so connected, and when the possibility of losing touch with somebody was actually real, because you couldn’t just exchange twitter handles.

We’re trying to avoid reading too much about the film, because we don’t want to get spoiled for the other two, which we are going to watch soon. But Linklater is again coming close to being my favourite director – I think you can divide his work into two; the work that pays the bills, and the personal stuff. We’re going for that personal stuff at the mo.

2 comments to Vienna:

  • Elaine

    The level of connectedness we have now is superficial. If they made that film now, the couple not only would have linked on FB et al, but the spontaneity of their romance would have been lost in a blur of finding *the* places to go in Vienna, filtering photos & broadcasting their every move to the cloud of connections that make them feel more validated.

  • Rol

    I still haven’t seen the last one despite the first two being amongst my favourite films. So yes to all the above.

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