The films Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are said to represent the so-called slacker genre. Slackers are individuals in society who have no direction and no reasonable expectation or realistic goals in life. This term is mainly used with Generation X’ers (people born between 1961 and 1981) (Casto, “What’s A Slacker Movie?”). Slacker movies are films that deal with the ordinary day-to-day life of these people. In Before Sunrise and Before Sunset the characters sense of wandering and the feel of aimlessness is what make them qualify as slacker films. It is a different story telling, not the classical Hollywood story where boy meets girl, falls in love and lives happily ever after but a real story with perhaps no happy ending or no ending at all. The characters exemplify core traits of Generation X by the way they connect with each other through conversation and ideas rather than action, their uncertainty about their fate and how they can relate to the average audience. Before Sunrise is a film about an American guy Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and a French girl Céline (Julie Delpy) who are on a train headed for Paris. They both get off in Vienna and spend the day there getting to know each other before Jesse’s return flight home to America. Céline and Jesse begin to wander around the historical city meeting many different and interesting people along the way; fortune tellers, street poets, gypsies, and a bartender (who actually gives them a free bottle of wine). They talk about parents, sex, religion, former relationships, music, death and reincarnation. The theme in this movie is really about all aspects of life. In one scene where the couple is walking through the Cemetery of the Nameless in Simmering, “the theme of death is evoked when Jesse recalls a vision of his late grandmother [and] Céline confesses to thinking constantly about dying [...]” (Speed 103). “The people buried in the cemetery have found anonymity in death; by learning to know and understand one...
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Casto, L.. "What 's a Slacker Movie?." Reocities Archive, rising from the ashes - RIP Geocities.... N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2011. .
Jochim, Jennifer. "Generation X defies definition." Reynolds School of Journalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. .
Speed, Lesley. "Intellect and Utopia in the Films of Richard Linklater." Journal of Popular Film and Television 1.1 (2008): 98-106. Print.
Wartenberg, Thomas. "Before Sunset | Philosophy Now." Philosophy Now. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2011. .
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