This movie poster, which advertises Richard Linklater’s 1995 film Before Sunrise, features a character-focused illustration of the film’s two main characters, Jesse and Céline. The image of these characters appears to be an illustration rather than a photograph and is constructed according to the color palette of the sunrise the title refers to. Vienna, the setting of the film, appears in the background behind the shared romantic gaze the illustrator has chosen to depict. The actors’ names, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, are prominently displayed at the top of the poster. Beneath that, a question is posed to potential viewers of the film: “Can the greatest romance of your life last only one night?”. Underneath this tagline, the film’s title is advertised in bold letters and underlined by a simply put identifier: “A Richard Linklater Film.”
Since this film is part of trilogy in which three films have been produced according to nine year lapses in time, I included this poster as a marker of how Linklater’s Before Sunrise might have been perceived by a contemporary audience of the mid-1990s. I am interested in how a movie poster like this might have operated to capture the essence of the film and gain audience appeal. The inclusion of this advertisement for the film also serves as a point of comparison to the posters that were produced for the other films of Linklater’s trilogy, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, as well as for The Criterion Collection’s 2017 reimagining of the trilogy as a collective work.