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Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke

'Before Sunset'

Studio: Warner Independent Pictures (released July 2)

Category: Original

Storyline: Nine years after their first fateful encounter in Vienna, Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) reunite in Paris, but they have only 90 minutes to spend together.

About the script: Taking place in real time and entirely comprising conversations between Jesse and Celine, “Before Sunset” — a sequel to 1995’s “Before Sunrise” — is a triumph in naturalistic storytelling and creative collaboration. Linklater, Delpy and Hawke first got together in 2002 to work out the structure, then wrote scenes on their own, with Linklater editing everything together over the course of a year. The final draft was fine-tuned during pre-production in Paris. “Perhaps what I’m most proud of is that not one word in the entire film is improvised,” says Delpy. “Everything is written — all the hesitations, everything.” Hawke says the film was the “most collaborative experience I have ever had. It was like being in a good band — everyone had a certain role they played, and they knew exactly what to do.”

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Biggest challenge: “Figuring out how to write a movie with no plot but make it exciting,” says Delpy.

Breakthrough idea: “There were two of them,” says Hawke. “The first was when Rick came to a book reading of mine and decided that Jesse should have written a book about Celine. The other was when the three of us got together in Julie’s apartment and just wrote continuously for several days. By the time we were done, we had found the tone.”

Favorite scene: The last scene in the film, when Celine takes Jesse back to her apartment and plays him a love song about their one night together.

Lines we love: The last ones: Celine (imitating Nina Simone): “Yo, baby, you gonna miss that plane.” Jesse: “I know.”

Writers’ bios: Linklater recently wrapped production on “A Scanner Darkly” and is currently filming the remake of “The Bad News Bears.” Delpy released her first CD in 2003. Hawke, nominated for an Oscar for 2002’s “Training Day,” has written two novels and directed the feature “Chelsea Walls.”