Thursday, 21 November 2013

Before sunrise, Before sunset and everything in between

Just imagine, two strangers in a train decide to spend time together walking the streets in Vienna and getting to know each other! The very idea sends a tingle down my spine and fills my mind with a sense of being overwhelmed. And, the same strangers, of course not strangers any more decide to meet in the Vienna train station after six months, and in the interim not exchanging any phone calls, letters or visits. Well, they don't meet but connect after nine years in France. Well, more than the films, what really interested me was the conversation that transpired between the strangers during their first walk around Vienna which lasts until the wee hours of the morning - before sunrise, to be precise. To me the film is an ode to conversation - A conversation which is genuine, frank, occasionally punctuated by the gurgle of a stream, song of a street singer and by the different sights and sounds of the city. A conversation without mobiles, facebook and other usual suspects.

The strangers, okay the actors, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy converse on an assortment of topics ranging from feminism to climate change to love, sex, popular culture, media, animals and so on. Their discourse is peppered with anecdotes and in the process of sharing thoughts and ideas, they get to know the other quite well and also by the end of the meeting are attracted to one another. The film consists of only walking and talking and there aren't any more characters in the film than the two actors. Reading up on the film, I found that most of the dialogues are written by the actors themselves and that does not come as a surprise!

I wondered at the possibilities of me doing something similar - chatting up with a stranger on a long distance train and impulsively deciding to walk the town with that stranger. The thought did seem quite thrilling to me and I guess I would have done it, perhaps some years ago when I was in my turbulent twenties! Real conversations are definitely a turn on and as the talks go on, layers of our selves start peeling off and unwittingly we reveal our personalities in the intoxication of words. The same transpires between the two on that walk. I find that I miss that sort of real conversation sometimes. Books allow oneself to travel to unknown lands, mingle with exotic cultures and imagine surreal situations but it is a process that is done alone unlike conversation, and here I mean 'real' conversation where I can see into the eyes of the listener, catch the faint smirk, observe the change in the tone of the voice and take in the gestures of the speaker. You get the drift, don't you? And, if the person on the other end has an equally arresting face, body that fits the conversation then it is imperative that sparks will fly but don't get me wrong here. Conversations don't always have to lead to physical and emotional attraction in the form of love/lust. But I don't deny that there is a higher possibility of falling for someone who can hold an exciting and meaningful conversation for hours (This trait is fast dying because of the various gadgets that vye for one's attention throughout the day/night).

If this post on 'conversation' has made you curious, you must watch the films - there are three of them -- Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight

So, are you turned on by a heady conversation sans any distraction?

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet

30 comments:

  1. Next time you are in Bangalore, lets pretend we met in the train and then go for a walk :)

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    1. What if I fall in love with you and start yearning for you?

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  2. I have seen the first two, haven't seen the last one. Dying to watch it, but it's not with me. Will see it soon. And yes, Susan, I share your thoughts. In France say that if one must marry it should be for conversations. Everything else fades away.

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    1. I guess you're right. If nothing else, then good conversation. Glad to see you here after a long time. Hope all is well with you :)

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    2. Saw it a few days back. Continues to amaze me: the acting, the screenplay, dialogues and the direction. I am good. I keep reading but comment less. And a happy new year to you. Keep writing. :-)

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  3. Of course I am. I mean I thrive on it. And the movie you have mentioned I have heard of it. All my friendships/relationships are always an offshoot of a constant mode of conversation. if I cannot talk to that person then what's the purpose of spending time? Yes in some cases I like to sit in silence but then romance has many forms right? :P :P

    Richa

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    1. Please watch the films and you'll know what I'm saying, Richa. And, yes, the silences between conversations are also definitely communicating!

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  4. Only one thing is bad about a good conversation--the end. Susan Deborah, you conjure topics which I never considered, and ALWAYS interesting. I like the old expression "FAR OUT!"

    Certain bloggers I have fely a yearning to meet--and converse, face-to-face, for the reasons you describe. And so I have done, traveling around. Gabi, Kristin, Jinx, Brian, Jessie are a few. Not once was I disappointed in the meetings. I have (in the past AND now!) fantasized meeting YOU, and believe that might have been a real blessing for me. Again, each meeting of a blog friend was a surprising delight. And I must not forget the joyfulness of meeting their families and some of friends.

    So yes...and of the ones I write here, each began with "comment" conversations!
    "ENOUGH", you say? I forgot, this is YOUR blog, not mine--grin!!!!!

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    1. The end . . . alas! I would love to meet you sometime as well, dear Steve. Time will tell whether we meet or not. Until then, we have our blogs.

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  5. I loved, loved, loved these movies- as did my husband. I did not think I could sit through such "talkie" movies, but in this case, I didn't want the movies to end! Yes, conversation almost in poetic sense, deep, authentic,open, brought about in the context of two strangers who have nothing to lose and a rare connection that doesn't come along very often. Interestingly, even though 9 years goes by, they fall back in with the same momentum. and pick up as if that time hasn't gone by. It is an ode to true friendship and acceptance. Those movies kept me thinking and thank you for this thought provoking post!

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    1. I guess the fact that they were in love and didn't express it quite well made them reconnect after many years and of course, the conversation was there to light up their days.

      Welcome Kimly to Meanderings and Reflections. Happy to see you here.

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  6. I have wondered about an evening like this too. Meeting a stranger on a train, conversing the night away and becoming good friends/lovers later. I am going to watch these movies for sure. :) I too believe that a good conversation and a good personality can attract better than physical appearance. :)

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    1. Please do watch the films, they are wonderful. And yes, conversation is a great turn-on!

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  7. Love such conversations and now I am so keen to see these movies. As somebody said a good conversation is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after!

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    1. Conversations are the best aphrodisiac, indeed! And if there is coffee with a nice conversation, then I'm completely hooked.

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  8. I badly wanted to have a pen friend and meet him/her in a far away place once and roam the country. Ahh.... that was a childhood fantasy. :)

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    1. You can try finding a blogger and start writing and then become pen-friends with him/her, Sheethal. Happy to have you stop by here.

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  9. Havent heard of the movie, but chatting up with a stranger and eventually becoming friends, I have had a fair share.

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    1. Cool. You should write a post about the same, some time. It would make an interesting read.

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  10. Oh, I totally agree with you. Physical attraction is one thing but sometimes connecting with someone at a mental level via conversations is an even stronger bond. The movie truly depicts that and thats why we still remember it even today.

    As to whether people do it in real life... well, I certainly hope so but I'm sadly skeptical. With all that transpires around us, people are less likely to be so comfortable around total strangers, right?

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    1. And being a Doktor, you might meet some people who would converse in the wee time they get with you. Any experience like that?

      Yes, the skepticism is there but sometimes we do meet some genuine people.

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  11. The movies are nice and this post is good :) for someone who travels by local train for four hours everyday watching strangers on the train is a habit! :) :) :) some random strangers have become just 'train-friends' and we discuss cinema, cricket, religion and politics on the train!

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    1. Oh yes, I've had some conversation and meetings like that as well but none too deep. Ah, I met a young priest in the train one day and even today we write to each other. It has been about nine years now.

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  12. How nice...finding a stranger and then finding similar interests is always a great surprise. Usually such relationships last a long time.

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    1. Yes Kajal, they are beautiful. Sometimes people fall in love like that and remain together. Conversations are sure beautiful.

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  13. That would be so cool and so random. It would be like destiny brought you together somehow. ♥

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    1. Many random things are beautiful. And I don't deny the part of destiny and hence nothing is random!

      Glad to have you here, Kathy.

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  14. It could be just 2 strangers meeting and becoming life long friends. Wouldn't that be wonderful. No need to fall in love.

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  15. Funny thing, my cousin was talking about this movie... and I was wondering why I hadn't seen it. I had downloaded it long back, but never got round to seeing it, but I did see it a few days back and then you are here writing about it. The movie was pretty good, I thought the girl was more exciting than the guy, she had the better thoughts... she is spunky and has a strong head on her shoulders. I love the idea of stimulating conversations too, would be lovely to just get off the train and wander around like they did. But I don't think I would have fallen in love with him unless he made me laugh, here Ethan was nice, but I did not feel anything for him. That old saying is true 'Boys fall in love with their eyes, girls tend to fall in love with their ears'. Have seen only the first part, haven't seen the rest two yet.

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  16. An awesome post indeed. I have wondered the same many a times. Now I am thinking when was the last time I made conversation with a stranger :(

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