Hans Maes interviews Julie Delpy for new volume of Philosophers on Film series

Dr Hans Maes

Dr Hans Maes, Senior Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Art at the School of Arts, along with, Dr Katrien Schaubroeck, University of Antwerp, have interviewed actor, director and screenwriter Julie Delpy for their forthcoming volume for Routledge’s Philosophers on Film series. An excerpt of the interview has been published on the Aesthetics for Birds website.

Hans Maes and Katrien Schaubroeck are editing a volume on the so-called Before trilogy directed by Richard Linklater, and co-written by Julie Delpy. The trilogy chronicles the love of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) who first meet up in Before Sunrise (1995), later reconnect in Before Sunset (2004) and finally experience a fall-out in Before Midnight (2013).

Not only do the individual films present storylines and dilemmas that invite philosophical discussion, but philosophical conversation itself is at the very heart of the films. Julie Delpy, who was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Before Sunset and Before Midnight, agreed to be interviewed for the book because, as she explains, she has a soft spot for philosophy.

Delpy says: ‘the truth is: education is everything, right? The fact that in France, in the last year of school, you have philosophy, that makes all the difference. If you are poor and go to a public school, you have philosophy. I was raised with no money, I did not go to a private school, I went to the most basic public school you can imagine, but I had philosophy. I believe that if you have one year of philosophy in your teens, it will change you forever. It will change you into another person. Just that. It is funny, you know, because I agreed to do this interview because I am actually very adamant that philosophy should be mandatory in schools. Because it makes you think for yourself for the rest of your life’.

The volume, which will be published in 2021, will also feature contributions from a variety of scholars including Murray Smith, Professor in Film at the School of Arts.

The full excerpt is available to read on the Aesthetics for Birds website, here: