Fantastic news out of Toronto, amidst the annual Toronto Film Festival, that director Richard Linklater has wrapped filming the oft-rumoured “Before Sunrise” second sequel! This is an absolutely wonderful late summer surprise for the solid cult following of the first two films. Julie Delpy(Celine) & Ethan Hawke(Jesse) reprise their respective roles(as if there could be any other way!), with shooting now completed in Messinia, Greece. Like many, I am absolutely enamored with the love story presented in the first two entries. Both films were my choice for the best film of their respective years(“Before Sunrise” in 1995, “Before Sunset” in 2004), and each also placed well in my two separate lists for best of the decade. I am beyond excited upon hearing this stunning announcement! Filming was conducted quietly, and Linklater, Delpy and Hawke were coy(even dismissive)about the possibility of the project being completed before 2013. Well done Julie, Ethan and Richard! These works are a triumph for art-house romance lovers around the world. “Before Sunrise” was released in early January of 1995 to a minimal box office reception, but developed a devoted following on video. The film followed the initial meeting of twenty-somethings Jesse(Hawke)and Celine(Delpy)as they strike up a conversation aboard a train and spontaneously decide to disembark in Vienna. Their day & night together walking the streets and talking is one of the most romantic features ever made. I greatly feared the idea of a sequel(“what if they blow it”!), but the writing was on the wall after a brief animated appearance(using a rotoscoping technique)by the two actors(as their “Before Sunrise” characters)in Linklater’s 2001 head trip film “Waking Life”. Then, 2004’s “Before Sunset” opened to wild acclaim in the summer of that year. Despite its modest box office, most fans of the first film were not disappointed in the least—many critics and devotees considering it even better than the 1995 original. The now thirty-something pair spend an afternoon strolling through Paris this time around. And months later, the script collaboration of Hawke, Delpy and Linklater garnered the trio an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Talk has been rampant for years as to whether Jesse and Celine would appear again by 2013, thereby continuing a pattern of a new entry every nine years. And now…fruition. No release date has been announced as of yet, but with filming of “Before Midnight” now completed, that news is imminent. Wildly enthusiastic is an understatement concerning how jazzed I am about wandering the walkways of Greece with our now early forty-something duo some time next year. Who’s with me!!!