A big love in Messinian Mani
Which set director wouldn’t envy a scenery as beautiful and as idyllic as the images and landscapes of the Messinian part of Mani, all along the coast of Messinia and at the foot of Mt Taygetos? Before Midnight is the third film by awarded Richard Linklater, featuring the love affair between the French activist Celine (Julie Delpy) and American writer Jesse (Ethan Hawke). It’s the third cinema rendezvous of the couple, preceded by Before Sunrise in Vienna (1995) and Before Sunset in Paris (2004).
Shootings took place in the house of the famous Greek philhellene Patrick Leigh Fermor in the area of Kardamyli, during summer 2012. But this was not Ethan Hawke’s first professional trip to Greece, as he took part in Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale brought by Sam Mendes to the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in the 2009 edition of the Epidaurus Festival.
Before filming started, the director and the stars stated how happy they were the next sequel of the love affair of Celine and Jesse would be made in Greece. Before the Berlinale’s triumphant first screening of the film, its director said he couldn’t shoot the film anywhere else in the world, as Messinia is the perfect backdrop for one to depict what human relationships are really about.
The crew stayed at Costa Navarino resort, whose owner, Mr Christos Konstantakopoulos, co-produced the film. The hotel is one of the best and most eco-friendly hotel units in Europe and it lies not far from the town of Pylos, Nestor’s Palace, the Venetian Castles in Methoni and Koroni, and the beautiful city of Kalamata.
Opening in Greece on June 13th, Before Midnight also participated in Sundance Film Festival, where it received accolades.
Watch the film’s trailer