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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Before Sunset

Last night after work, Cara and I hopped on the train and went to the Siskel Centre to see Before Sunset. Before Sunset was the long awaited sequal to the 1994 film, Before Sunrise. I’m certain that Before Sunrise had a small (or huge) subconscious role in my decision to study abroad. The possibility of meeting someone while traveling, spending a night talking, and making plans to see each other in six months.

Before Sunset takes place 9 years later in movie time and real time. The movie is in real time. We are with the couple for every minute they are together, time isn’t compressed. We see everything that happens and when the curtain goes down we don’t know what happens. And none of the possible endings are simple or 100% happy or 100% sad.

I think these movies are a celebration of chance and synchronicity. Perhaps their finding each other was not so much chance in the follow-up, she sees his photo, reads his book, and comes to his reading. If you know me, you know I have a love affair with synchronicities. That I see meaning where other people see coincidence. Sometimes it is just God saying, “Look, I’m just reminding you that we are all connected.” Sometimes it is God saying, “STOP. For PETE’S SAKE, don’t you get it?” Sometimes it is God trying to annoy the shit out of you with yet another unexplainable synchronicity.

On the way to the movie, as Cara and I transfered from the Brown Line to the Red Line I pointed out a toy skate board on the floor. It was green and in yellow said “SKATE.” There was something funny about it. When we stepped onto the cold platform, I promptly forgot. On our way home, Cara stood up to get off the train one stop ahead of me. “Look. We were in the same car.” Cara pointed to her feet where the skateboard was still sitting. It was now upside down and broken, but it was there. On my way off the train, I stooped and picked it up. Some passengers pointed out a wheel I had missed. I explained that we’d seen it a couple hours earlier and I had to mark the synchronicity. Now I have it on my desk next to my photograph of me with Weird Al.

Somehow this has something to do with the movie… Synchronicity. It all happens for a reason and each moment doesn’t exist on its own.

The closest I’ve come to a Before Sunset moment was in London last year. The night I met Marcelo for beers. Marcelo was a friend in Argentina. In Argentina he was macho, he was in control, he was well-employed, he was so many things to look up to. In London he had to use a map, he didn’t have the language under control, he was a ganitor. Suddenly the tables were flipped. I had the language, I had the international job, I was in control.

I still wonder what would happen if I ran into Tokyo Boy. I wonder why I’ve met Rock N Roll now, instead of in October before I chose judaism. I wonder why I knew Ronnie was near the Tsunami when he didn’t tell me where he was going. I wonder why I ran into Bill on the street downtown–now that he works at Second City and I am doing improv. I wonder why I ran into Rabbi Lopatin at Intelligentsia, when I couldn’t get him over email.

Coincidences or Synchronicities.


Go see the movie. It is good. It is not standard Hollywood shit. It is soundtrack free. It is realistic and open ended. Find out if you are a cynic or a romantic.

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