As Julie Delpy’s song “An Ocean Apart” plays, we see a reverse-order montage of all the scenes in Paris, France where the story will take place. The montage of Paris cleverly mirrors the ending sequence seen in “Before Sunrise” of the scenes they used in Vienna, Austria.
• (Scene VII) Walkway in Court de l’Etoile d’Or  to Céline’s apartment
• (Scene VII) Exterior of Court de l’Etoile d’Or • (Scene V) Quai de la Tournelle , looking from the east to the rear of Notre Dame Cathedral
• (Scene IV) La Promenade Plantée 
• (Scene IV) Avenue Daumesnil outside of La Promenade Plantée
• (Scene III) Le Pure Café 
• (Scene II) rue Eginhard or rue Charlemagne in Le Marais
• (Scene II) rue des Jardins St. Paul  in Le Marais
• (Scene II) rue St. Julien le Pauvre  in Quartier Latin, looking south toward rue Galande
• (Scene I) Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore 
Search for the phrase “Location notes” throughout this transcript to find addresses and directions to all scenes used in this film.
“An Ocean Apart” by Julie Delpy
Now, we are together Sitting outside in the sunshine. But soon we’ll be apart And soon it’ll be night at noon.
Now, things are fine The clouds are far away, up in the sky But soon, I’ll be on a plane And soon, you’ll feel the cold rain.
You promised to stay in touch when we part You promised before I left that you’ll always love me Time goes by and people cry And everything goes too fast.
(The song cuts here at the end of the opening titles. Scene I begins immediately.)
Scene I – Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore
Location notes: the Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore is located at 37 rue de la Bûcherie in the 5th arrondissement. It faces la Seine river from the Left Bank, looking out toward Notre Dame Cathedral from the south. The surrounding neighborhood is densely populated by students who attend high school and university, including la Sorbonne, where Céline studied. This is one of the best walking neighborhoods in all of Paris. Metro: St. Michel stop on line 4, or Maubert stop on line 10. Web: .
(We see the outside of the bookstore, then two signs: the first, a printed sign that reads “New Release, Jesse Wallace, This Time”; the second reads “Today, In Store Appearance, Author Jesse Wallace, Reading & Q & A, 5:30 P.M.” Inside, Jesse is sitting at a table with copies of his book lying in front of him. Several reporters sit opposite Jesse. The bookstore owner sits to Jesse’s right.)
Female reporter: Do you consider the book to be autobiographical?
Jesse: Hmmm...well, I mean, isn’t everything autobiographical? I mean, we all see the world through our own tiny keyhole, right? I mean, I always think of Thomas Wolfe, you know, have you ever seen that little one page note to reader in the front of "Look Homeward, Angel," right, you know what I'm talking about? Anyway, he says that we are the sum of all the moments of our lives, and that, uh, anybody who sits down to write is gonna use the clay of their own life, that you can't avoid that. So when I look at my own life, you know, I have to admit, right...that I've... I've never been around a bunch of, a bunch of guns, or violence. You know, not really. No political intrigue or, uh, helicopter crash, right? (Nods at the bookstore owner, who nods back.)
But my life, from my own point of view, has been full of drama, right? And, uh, so I thought that if I could write a book that...that could capture what it's like to really meet somebody. I mean one of the most exciting things that's ever happened to me is to really meet somebody, make that connection, and if I could...make that valuable, you know, to capture that, that would be the attempt or...Did I answer your question?
Female reporter: I'll try to be more specific. Were there ever a French young woman on the train you met, and...spent an evening with?
Jesse: (Sighs.) See, to me, that...that's not important, you know?
Female reporter: So that's a "yes".
Jesse: (With great hesitation.) Alright, since I'm in France and this is the last stop on my book tour, "yes". (Light laughter from everybody in the room.)
Male reporter: Mr. Wallace, the book ends on an ambiguous note. We don't know. Do you think they get back together in six months, like they promise each other?
Jesse: Like they promised, uh... I think how you answer that, you know, is, uh...You know, it's... It's a good test. Right? If you're a romantic or a cynic. I mean, uh, you think (pointing at the female reporter)...you think they get back together, (pointing at a second male reporter) you don't, for sure, and (pointing at the questioner) you hope they do, but, you know, you’re not sure so that’s why you're asking the question.
Female reporter: And...do you think they get back together? I mean, did you, in real life?
Jesse: (Sighs.) Did I real...(Sighs again, then smiles.) Look, see, in the words of my grandfather, OK...to answer that, would take the piss out of the whole thing.
Female reporter: (Disappointed.) Oh, no...
Bookstore owner: We just have the time for one last question.
Male reporter: What is, uh, your next book?
Jesse: Ah...I don't know, man, I don't know...I've been...I've been thinking about this...Well, I always kind of wanted to write a book that all took place within the space of a pop song, you know, like 3 or 4 minutes long, the whole thing.
The story, the idea is that...there's this guy. Right? And...he's totally depressed. I mean, his great dream was to be a lover, an adventurer, you know, riding motorcycles through South America, and instead he's sitting at a marble table, eating lobster, and he's got a good job and a beautiful wife, right? But you know, everything that he needs. But that doesn't matter, 'cause what he wants is to fight for meaning.
You know, happiness is in the doing, right, not in the... getting what you want. So, he's sitting there, and just at that second, his little five year old daughter hops up on the table. And he knows that she should get down 'cause she could get hurt, but she's dancing to this pop song, in a summer dress. And he looks down, and all of a sudden, uh, he is sixteen. And...his high school sweetheart is dropping him off, at home. And they've just lost their virginity, and she loves him, and the same song is playing on the car radio, and she climbs up and starts dancing on the roof of the car. And now, now he's worried about her! And she’s beautiful, with a...a facial expression just like his daughter‘s. In fact, you know, maybe that's why he even likes her. You see, he knows he's not remembering this dance, he's there. He's there in both moments simultaneously. And just like for an instance (snaps his fingers), all his life is just folding in on itself and it's obvious to him that time is a lie...(Jesse motions to his right, and sees Céline standing against the wall, listening to him) uh...that's it's all happening all the time and inside every moment is another moment, all...You know, happening simultaneously.
And, anyway, that’s…that's kind of the idea...anyway.
Bookstore owner: Well, our author has to be going to the airport soon, so thank you all very much for coming here this afternoon. And a special thanks to Mr. Wallace for being with us. (Claps, and others join in clapping.) We hope to see you here again for your next book.
Merci a tous et a toutes d'etre venues. Comme vous voyez il y a du champagne, il y a des petites choses a grignoter, donc, servez-vous. (Thank you everyone for coming, as you can see we have some champagne and snacks, so help yourselves.)
Jesse: Thank you all. (To the bookstore owner.) How much longer before I have to go to the airport?
Bookstore owner: Oh, you should leave at 7:30. (Motioning with a program in his left hand.) 7:30 at the very latest!
(Jesse walks to the back of the bookstore toward Céline. He smiles.)
(Laughing, they exchange two French bisous – light kisses on the left and right cheeks.)
Jesse: How are you?
Céline: Good, and you?
Jesse: I'm...good, yeah, I'm great, I'm...uh...Do you want to...maybe get a cup of coffee?
Céline: Didn't you just say you have a plane to catch?
Jesse: Uh…yeah...(He looks back to the front of the store, then back at Céline.) But, I mean, I have a little time.
Jesse: Yeah? Well, let me um...(Motions to the front of the store.)
Céline: I'll meet you outside. (Nods.) OK.
(Jesse walks to the front of the store toward the bookstore owner.)
Jesse: Excuse me, I'm just gonna go out and get a cup of coffee, and be back at 7:15.
Bookstore owner: Did you sign all these? (Motions to a stack of books.)
Jesse: Um yeah, I sure did.
Bookstore owner: Well, get your driver Philippe's card so that you can call his cell phone if you're running late. And we will put your bags in the car so you are not! late! going to the airport!
Jesse: Alright, thanks for everything. (To the female reporter, as he quickly shakes her hand.) Merci beaucoup, mademoiselle.
(At this precise moment, Jesse passes up the chance to get the reporter’s number, who surely would have given it to him.)
Which one's Philippe?
Bookstore owner: Philippe, passe lui ta carte pour qu'il ait ton numero portable, hein? Merci. (Philippe, give him your card so he can call you on your cell phone, okay? Thank you.)
(Philippe searches for a card in his jacket pocket.)
Scene II – Walk From Bookstore to Le Pure Café
Location notes: this walk, as seen on film, cannot be duplicated exactly because Linklater cuts the camera not once, but twice between locations that are non-adjacent to each other. Therefore, the walk consists actually of 3 discrete segments: 1) through Quartlier Latin in the 5th arrondissement, the neighborhood immediately surrounding the bookstore; 2) through Le Marais in the 4th arrondissement; and 3) very briefly in the 11th arrondissement immediately outside the café. Look for additional “Location notes” in this section to guide you through each specific segment of the walk. Because each segment is quite far from one another, you should allow at least 1 hour to complete the journey from the bookstore to the café, in sequence.
(Céline waits outside the bookstore for Jesse, standing next to a statue. Her arms are crossed, and she looks down, appearing a bit anxious. Jesse walks out of the bookstore toward her, and smiles broadly, appearing more relaxed than before.)
Jesse: I can't believe you're here!
Céline: Well, I live here in Paris. Are you sure you don't have to stay, you're not supposed to talk some more?
Jesse: No, no, no, they‘re sick of me, I spent the night here last night. (Motions to the bookstore.)
Céline: Oh, you did?
Jesse: Yeah, yeah, they've got a loft upstairs.
Céline: Oh, wow. (Looks up toward the 2nd level of the bookstore.)
Jesse: Anyway, how are you? (Nervously clasping his hands together.) This is so weird.
Céline: I'm fine, it's... It's good to see you.
Jesse: It's good to see you.
(They pause awkwardly for a few moments.)
Céline: So you want to go to a cafe? (Points to her left.)
Jesse: Uh, yeah...(Waves his right hand over his abdomen.)
Céline: OK, there's one a little further, that I like. (They start walking away from the bookstore.)
Jesse: I...I...I thought I was gonna totally lose it in there. When I first saw you...I mean, how did you even know I was going to be here?
Céline: Well, it's my favorite bookstore in Paris. I, um...You can sit down for hours and read. I love it. There's fleas, but, you know...
Jesse: I know, I know, I think a cat slept on my head last night. (Motions toward his head.)
Location notes: Jesse and Céline turn right down rue Saint Julien le Pauvre as they walk past an accordionist.
Céline: So, I saw your picture on the calendar about a month ago.
Céline: And that you were going to be here. It's funny because I read an article on your book, and, uh, it sounded vaguely familiar?
Jesse: Vaguely, yeah. (They both laugh.)
Céline: Yes. But I didn't put it all together until I saw your photo, so...
Jesse: Did you have a chance to read it?
Céline: Yes! I…um...I was really, really surprised as you can imagine, I mean...I had to read it twice, actually. (Furrows her brow, and looks down.)
Jesse: Comme ci, comme ca? (Waves his hand as if to indicate the book was not very good reading.)
Céline: No, I liked it! It's, uh, very romantic. I usually don't like that... but it's, uh, really well written. It's really well written, no, I really...Congratulations! (Puts both hands on Jesse’s left forearm as if to reassure him.)
Wait! (They stop walking, and turn to face each other.) Before we go anywhere, I have a...I have to ask you...
Jesse: Sure, what?
Céline: Did you show up in Vienna, that December?
Jesse: (Clutches at the waist of his pants, and looks to his left.) Uh, did you? (Looks her in the eye again.)
Céline: No, I couldn't, but...Did you? I need to know, it's important to me.
Jesse: (Looks down.) Why, if you didn't?
Céline: (More earnestly.) Well, did you?
Jesse: No. (Shakes his head.)
Céline: Oh, thank God you didn't! (Breathes a loud sigh of relief.) Oh my god! (They start walking forward again.)
Jesse: I mean, thank God I didn't, and you didn't! I mean, if one of us had showed up there alone, then that would have sucked.
Céline: I know! I know! I know! I was so concerned with that. I always felt horrible about not being there, but I couldn't! You know, my grandma died a few days before, and she was buried that day, December 16th, that day!
Jesse: She died, the one in Budapest?
Céline: Yes, you remember that?
Jesse: Yeah, I remember everything.
Céline: Of course, it was in your book. But anyway, I was about to fly to Vienna, you know, and I...and we heard the news about her, and of course I took her to the funeral with my parents.
Jesse: Yeah, well, I'm sorry to hear that.
Céline: I know. But you weren't there anyway. (Stops to face him again, and nudges him on the elbow.) Wait. Why weren't you there? I would have been there if I could have, I made plans, and...Wait. You‘d better have a good reason! (Jesse looks down to his left, then back at her without saying anything.)
What?! (Studies his expression.) Oh...no! No, you were there, weren't you? (He blinks both eyes once, as of to say yes.) Oh, no, that's terrible! (Walks away from him, hiding her face. He follows, momentarily one step behind.) I know I'm laughing, but I don't mean it! Did you hate me? You must have hated me. Have you been hating me all this time? You have!
Location notes: Jesse and Céline turn left and walk down rue Galande toward rue Dante.
Jesse: No, no...
Céline: Yes, you have! Oh, but you can't hate me now, right? I mean, my grandma...
Jesse: I don't hate you, alright? Come on, it's no big deal, alright? I flew all the way over there, you blew the thing off, and then my life has been a big nosedive since then, but I mean it's not a problem.
Céline: No, you can't say that!
Jesse: No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. (Puts his hand on her shoulder to reassure her.)
Céline: Oh, I can't believe it, you must have been so angry with me... I'm so sorry, I really wanted to be there, more than anything in the world! I swear...Honestly, I swear...I mean, you can't be angry...my grandmother...
Jesse: No, I know, I know, I honestly thought that something like that might have happened. I was definitely bummed, but...Mostly, I was jut mad we hadn't exchanged any phone numbers or any information.
Céline: I know, that was so stupid, no way to get in touch. I didn't even know your last name.
Jesse: I know, we had nothing to go on. I know, I know...remember, I mean we were both afraid that if we started writing and calling, that it would slowly...you know, fade out.
Céline: Yeah, it definitely wasn't a slow fade.
Jesse: No, it sure wasn't. (Laughs, and looks at Céline.)
Céline: I know, we wanted to pick it up were we left off.
Jesse: Which would have been fine if it had worked.
Céline: Yes, good idea.
Jesse: Oh well.
Céline: (Sighs loudly.) How long were you in Vienna, then?
Jesse: Just a couple of days.
Céline: Did you meet another girl?
Jesse: Aah, yeah. Her name was Gretchen, and she was amazing.
Céline: You did?
Jesse: Yeah, the book is really a composite of the two of you.
Céline: Really? Oh, no!
Jesse: No, I'm kidding! You wouldn't believe it, I even went back to the train station. I put up, you know, signs of my number, (Céline sighs loudly again) and the hotel, in case you've been delayed. I was a total dork.
Céline: Let's go this way. Did you get any calls?
Location notes: Jesse and Céline turn right. At this point, the camera cuts suddenly from the end of rue Galande to the crossroad of rue de l'Ave Maria and rue des Jardins St-Paul in the 4th arrondissement. You must cross the river via l’Ile St. Louis, and walk about 15 minutes. Metro: Pont Marie stop on Line 7. They walk up rue des Jardins St-Paul to rue Charlemagne. On their left, you can see the playground of Lycee Charlemagne.
Jesse: Just a couple hookers, looking for a gig. No, it was awful. I mean, what do you want me to say?
Céline: Oh, it's so sad. I'm so sorry!
Jesse: I walked around for a couple of days. Eventually, I flew home, I owed my dad 2000 bucks, who had warned me about French chicks, I have to say.
Céline: (Defensively.) What did he tell you about French women?
Jesse: Nothing, the guy... he's never met any French women. He's never been east of the Mississippi. (Céline laughs.)
Céline: So why didn't you put that “six months later, uh, the French bitch didn't have show up.” You know, like...
Jesse: But I did, I did.
Céline: You did?
Jesse: Yeah, no, I mean I made it more hopeful. I wrote this whole fictional version in which you actually do show up.
Céline: Oh, what happens?
Jesse: Well, um...
Jesse: Well, we make love for about ten days straight, that's one part of it.
Céline: Oh, that's interesting. So, “the French slut.” Yeah, OK, OK...
Jesse: Yeah, exactly. It's just, then they, you know, they start to get to know each other better and they realize that they don't get along at all.
Céline: Oh, I like that. It's more real.
Jesse: Yeah, well, my editor didn't think that way.
Céline: No, everyone wants to believe in love. It sells, right?
Jesse: Yeah, exactly...so...
Céline: So things are going well for you, right? I mean, your book is a best seller in the U.S.
Jesse: It's a TINY best-seller. (He motions with his fingers to show how tiny.)
Céline: Oh, come on.
Jesse: Alright, yeah right, officially, yes, but I mean most people haven't read Moby Dick, you know, so why should they read my book?
Céline: Well, I haven't read Moby Dick, and I liked your book, so...
Céline: You know (points at Jesse quizzically), I thought you idealized the night a bit.
Jesse: Oh, come on, it's officially fiction.
Céline: No, no, no. No, I know, I know. I know, I thought...You know, there were times when you made me a...well, I mean her, right? No, me...OK, whatever! A little bit neurotic!
Jesse: You are a little bit like that, aren't you?
Céline: You think I'm neurotic? (Furrows her brow disapprovingly.)
Jesse: No, no, no, come on, I'm kidding! Where did I do that? I didn't do that.
Céline: Well, maybe it's just me. You know, uh, reading something knowing that the character in the story is based on you...it's both...flattering and disturbing at the same time.
Jesse: How is it disturbing?
Céline: I don't know, just...being part of someone else's memory. Seeing myself through your eyes. How long did it take you to write it?
Jesse: Um, uh, 3 or 4 years, on and off.
Céline: Wow, that's a really long time to be writing about one night.
Jesse: Yeah, I know, tell me about it. (Sighs out loud.)
Céline: I always assumed you had forgotten me.
Jesse: No, I had a pretty clear picture of you in my mind. I have to tell you something. (They stop and face each other.) I just...
Jesse: I wanted to talk to you for so long, you know, that now...
Céline: Yeah, me too.
Jesse: It's just surreal, you know, I feel like everything out of my mouth should be...
Céline: I know, I know, how long do we have? (Motions to her wrist.) 20 minutes and 30 seconds? Let's go!
Jesse: (Looking at his watch.) No, we got more than that. I wanna know about you. Tell me what are you doing...you know, what are you up to? (They start walking again.)
Céline: Uh, where to start...I, uh, I work for Green Cross. It's an environmental organization.
Jesse: Yeah, what are...what are they all about?
Céline: Well, we basically work on different environment issues, from clean water to disarmament of chemical weapons. You know, international laws that deal with the environment.
Jesse: And, and, what do you do for them?
Céline: We're going this way.
Location notes: they turn right on rue Charlemagne.
Ah, different things. Like last year, I was in India for quite a while, working on a water treatment plant.
Céline: Well, yeah, the cotton industry there is a major source of pollution, so...
Jesse: I mean, this sounds like you're actually doing something, you know, I mean, most people, myself included, just...sit around and bitch, you know. America's consuming all the world’s resources, SUVs suck, global warming is real...
Céline: You know, I'm really relieved to hear you're not one of those Freedom Fries kind of Americans.
Jesse: Hey, you know...But, how did you get into that?
Céline: I came out of political science, and I was hoping to work for the government. And I did, for a little while...ugh, terrible!
Jesse: Not good?
Céline: Yeah, no.
Location notes: they turn left onto rue Eginhard, which is a very small passage in the shape of an elbow. You can spot Fountain Eginhard behind them as they walk.
Anyway, I got really tired...let's go this way...of having this endless conversation with friends about how the world is falling to pieces. So I decided what I really wanted to do was to find things that could be fixed, and try to fix them, you know?
Jesse: You know, I always thought you'd be doing something cool like that. I did!
Céline: Thanks. I just feel really…really lucky to be doing a job I like.
Jesse: Yeah. You know, I actually alternated between thinking that...You know, everything is irrevocably screwed up, and that things might be getting better in some ways.
Céline: (Disapprovingly.) Better? How could you possibly say that?
Jesse: Well, I just mean, you know, like...I mean, I know it sounds weird, but there are things to be optimistic about.
Céline: OK...uh, I know your book is selling, which is great, I'm very happy for you, but let me break the news for you, OK? The world is a mess right now!
Location notes: they walk out of a covered passage, and arrive on rue St-Paul. They turn left, and walk a few steps toward rue St. Antoine.
Jesse: I wasn't saying that...
Céline: (Voice rising, with a mocking tone.) I can’t see how you can say things are getting “a bit better.” OK, we're moving all our industry to developing nations. We can get cheap labor free of any environmental laws. (They stop, and she gesticulates to make her points.)
OK, the weapon industry is booming. Five million people die every year from preventable water disease. So, how is the world getting any better? I'm not getting angry, I'm not getting angry, but come on, I want to know, I'm interested!
Jesse: OK, I realize that there are a lot of serious problems in the world.
Céline: OK (sighing), thank you!
Jesse: (Sarcastically.) I mean, I don't even have one publisher in the whole Asian market. (Laughs.)
Céline: OK, alright. (Turns away in mock disgust, then turns back to Jesse with her left hand raised, wiggling her fingers back and forth.) Say "stop."
Jesse: OK, OK, what? "Stop."
Céline: (Stops wiggling her fingers, and gives him just the 3rd finger.) OH!
Jesse: (Playfully grabs at her left wrist to put her hand down.) No, look, all I'm saying is that there's more awareness out there, right? (Pounds his right fist into his left palm.) People are going to fight back!
Céline: OK. (Motions for them to continue walking forward.)
Location notes: at this point, the camera suddenly cuts to the intersection of rue Jean Mace and rue Faidherbe in the 11th arrondissement in front of Le Pure Café. In reality, you would need to walk about 30 min. east to reach the cafe from rue Eginhard in the 4th arrondissement. Please see “Location notes” for Le Pure Café at the beginning of the next section for detailed directions. We see Jesse and Céline from behind, walking toward the cafe.
Scene III – Le Pure Café
Location notes: Le Pure Café is located at 14 rue Jean Macé in the 11th arrondissement. It is on the corner of rue Jean Macé/impasse Franchemont. Metro: Charonne stop on line 9 is physically the closest, but from most parts of the city, it would be a lot more convenient to use Faidherbe Chaligny stop on line 8. If you are going to Le Pure Café directly from rue St. Paul or rue St. Antoine in Le Marais, to follow the exact sequence seen on film, then board Metro line 1 at the St. Paul stop, and transfer to line 8 at Place de la Bastille. You would not miss very much by taking the metro at this point, as the neighborhood of Le Pure Café is quite far from Le Marais, and it lacks the charm of the earlier parts of this walk.
Jesse: You know, I mean I think the world might be getting better because people like you are educated into speaking out. Even the very notion of conservation, environmental issues, those weren't even in the vocabulary until fairly recently, you know, and now they're becoming a norm, and eventually might be what's expected all over the world.
Céline: I agree with what you're saying, but at the same time, it's dangerous. An imperialist country can use that kind of thinking to justify their economic greed. You know, human rights...
Jesse: Is there a particular imperialistic country you have in mind there, Frenchy?
Céline: (With her hand to her lip, as if pondering the answer seriously.) No, not really.
(They enter Le Pure Café together.)
Céline: (To the cafe staff.) Bonsoir!
Jesse: (Smiles and nods to the cafe staff.) Bonsoir.
Céline: So, you want to sit over there?
Jesse: Yeah, this is perfect. Oh, wow, maybe what I'm saying is the world might be evolving the way a person evolves. (They arrive at a table. Céline puts down her bag, and both Céline and Jesse remove their jackets as they sit down.)
Right, I mean...me, for example. Am I getting worse? Am I improving? I don't know. When I was younger, I was healthier, but I was, uh, racked with insecurity, you know? Now I'm older, my problems are deeper, but I'm more equipped to handle them. (He leans forward and rests both forearms on the table.)
Céline: So what are your problems?
Jesse: (Smiles, and leans back.) Right now? I don't have any. I don't, you know? Just (takes a breath) damn happy to be here!
Céline: Me too. (He stares at her while she pauses.) So, how long have you been in Paris?
Jesse: I got in last night, I've done 10 cities in 12 days. I'm wrecked. I'm so glad it's over, you know? I'm tired of being a huckster. (A waitress approaches the table to take their order.)
Waitress: Qu’est-ce que vous sers? (What can I get for you?)
Céline: (To Jesse.) What do you want?
Jesse: Um, a cup of coffee.
Céline: Un café et un citron pressé, s'il vous plait. (A coffee and lemonade, please.)
Jesse: (Sighs.) God, I love this cafe. I wish they had places like this in the U.S.
Céline: Yeah, I missed cafes when I was living over there. I mean, I find a few places I really liked, but there was...
Jesse: (Interrupting.) You...You were living in the U.S.?
Céline: Yes, from, uh, '96 to '99. I was studying at NYU.
Jesse: OH, GOD (looks down in disgust) don't tell me that, Céline! (Covers his eyes.)
Jesse: No, it's just...Nothing, I mean I...
Jesse: I've been living in New York since '98. You know, we were there at the same time!
Céline: In New York?
Céline: Ah, that's weird. It actually crossed my mind a few times that I might run into you, but...The odds are so slim, right? So...I didn't even know what city you were living in. Weren't you somewhere in Texas? You were in Texas.
Jesse: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely, I just...I was for a long time, I just...You know, wanted to try New York.
Céline: (Softly.) Wow.
Jesse: What brought you back here?
Céline: Uh, I had finished my master’s, for one. And...no visa. No more visa. And, anyway, I was starting to get paranoid. All the violence in the medias. Gang violence, murders. Especially serial killers. (Jesse laughs.) But, the final straw was...one night I heard a...some noise on my fire escape, so I called 911. And the cops came, eventually.
Jesse: Yeah, like 3 hours later.
Céline: Yeah, after I had been raped and killed about 30 times. (They both laugh.) No, but...It was a man and a woman officer, and I was explaining to them what I had heard, when the woman had to run downstairs to move the police car. So, I was left alone with the male cop. And right away, he asked me if I had a gun. And I said no, of course not, I...And he told me: "You better think about getting one. This is America, not France." OK? And I said to him, you know, I have no idea how to shoot a gun, and I have no interest in firearms, whatsoever. And that's when he pulled out his gun, like this (raises her right hand as if drawing a gun)...and he went: "Well, one day...you're gonna have something like THIS in your face, and if you wanna have a long life, you're gonna have to choose...between you...or THEM." And then they left. And the next morning I called for an application to get a gun. (Jesse laughs.) Me, with a gun! I mean, that's really scary. But then I realized something was wrong, the way that…that cop had pulled his gun out, and everything, right?
Jesse: Yeah, sure!
Céline: So I canceled my demand for the gun, and I called the police station, and tried to complain about that cop's behavior, but...
Jesse: What happened with that?
Céline: It was so much paperwork...and then I got scared, with my shitty student visa.
Jesse: Yeah, you thought you'd get deported?
Céline: Yeah, exactly! So I gave up and I forgot about the whole thing. Well, I guess I never forgot.
Jesse: Well obviously...yeah.
Céline: But, still, you know...I really enjoyed being there. There's a lot of things I miss about the U.S.
Jesse: Yeah, like what?
Céline: Um...well...The overall good mood people have there, like, you know, even if it can be bullshit sometimes. Like (cocking her head from side to side.) "How‘re you doin'?" "Great!" "How’re you doin'?" "Great!" "Have a great day!" (They both laugh.) I don't know...Parisians can be so grumpy, have you noticed?
Jesse: No, everybody seems pretty happy to me.
Céline: (Shaking her head.) Unh, they're not happy.
Jesse: (Shaking his head.) They're not happy?
Céline: No, they are, I don't know. Maybe I just mean French men. They drive me nuts.
Jesse: What is it? What about them?
Céline: Well, they're very nice. They're great, you know, to be around, they love food, wine. They're great cooks. But, I don't know, maybe I've had really bad luck with them, or something.
Jesse: Why? What do you mean?
Céline: Um, well...I guess they're not as um...
Céline: What's the word? Um...”horny”? They're not as horny.
Jesse: (Leaning forward, and pointing his finger for emphasis.) Horny? Now alright, well, listen to me on this one, alright, you know. In that regard, I am proud to be an American.
Céline: And you should be, in that regard only. (The waitress arrives with their drinks.)
Céline: Merci. Have you ever spent some time in Eastern Europe?
Jesse: Eastern? No, no...
Céline: No? I, uh, remember as a teenager I went to Warsaw, when it was still a strict communist regime. Which I don't approve of at all.
Jesse: (Sarcastically.) Oh yeah, sure you don't...
Céline: No, I don’t.
Jesse: No, I'm just kidding!
Céline: But, anyway, something about being there was very interesting, I found. After a couple of weeks, something changed in me. The city was quite gloomy and gray and...but, after a while, my brain seemed clearer. I was writing a lot more in my journal, ideas I had never thought of before.
Jesse: Communist ideas?
Céline: Listen, I'm not...
Jesse: I'm sorry, I can't...Go on!
Céline: I'll send you to a Gulag! No...but it took me a while to figure out why it felt, you know, so different. And then, one day, as I was walking through the Jewish cemetery, I don't know why, but it occurred to me there, I realized that I had spent the last 2 weeks away from most of my habits. TV was in a language I didn't understand. There was nothing to buy, no advertisements anywhere. So, all I've been doing was...walk around, think, and write. My brain felt like it was at rest, free from the consuming frenzy. And I have to say, it was almost like a natural high. I felt so peaceful inside, no...strange urge to be somewhere else, to shop...Maybe it could have seemed like boredom at first, but it quickly became very, very soulful. It's interesting, you know?
Jesse: Can you believe that it was 9 years ago that we were walking around Vienna?
Céline: 9 years? No that's impossible.
Jesse: It was, I know, it feels like 2 months ago to me, but it was summer '94.
Céline: (Placing her elbows on the table, and her chin in her hands. Then, she leans back.) Do we look any different? (Pauses.) I do.
Jesse: (Pauses, sniffs then cocks his head to one side.) I'd have to see you naked.
Céline: (Horrified.) What? (Starts laughing.)
Jesse: I'm sorry. Your hair was different back then, it was like...
Céline: What, it's the same. (Flips her ponytail with her hand.)
Jesse: Yeah, take it down, let's see! (Motions with both hands to her to take her hair down.)
Céline: Down, it was down. OK. (Takes her hair down.) Well, voila! (Untangles her hair.) So? OK, come on, tell me.
Jesse: Uh...skinnier, I think, (nodding, and motioning to his chin) a little thinner.
Céline: Did you think I was fat before?
Jesse: No. (Laughs and looks away.)
Céline: Yeah, you thought I was a fatty. No, you thought I was a fatty. Yeah, you wrote a book about a fat French girl! Oh, no! (Covers her eyes in mock shame.)
Jesse: No, listen. Seriously, alright, you look beautiful. Do I look any different? (Drinks from his cup.)
Céline: No. Not at all, although actually, (pointing to his forehead) you have this line.
Jesse: I know. (Touches his forehead between his eyebrows.)
Céline: Looks like a scar.
Jesse: (Indignantly.) A SCAR? What, like a gunshot wound?
Céline: No, no, no, I lied to you, I'm sorry. I had this funny...well, horrible dream the other day. I was having this awful nightmare, that I was 32, and then I woke up, and I was 23, so relieved! And then I woke up for real, and I was 32. Scary!
Jesse: It happens.
Céline: Yeah, time goes faster and faster. Apparently, it's because we don't renew our synapses after 20. So, it's pretty much downhill from then on. Oh well.
Jesse: I like getting older, you know, it feels...I don't know, it feels more immediate. You know, like I can appreciate things more.
Céline: No, me too, actually. I really love it.
Jesse: I was once a... ...a drummer in a band.
Céline: You were?
Jesse: Yeah, we were pretty good, actually. But then...the lead singer guy, he was just so obsessed with us getting a record deal. (Céline reaches into her bag and withdraws a cigarette.) You know, it's all we talked about, it was all we thought about, getting bigger shows, and everything was just...focused on the future, all the time. And now, the band doesn't even exist anymore, right? And looking back at the...at the shows we did play, even rehearsing...you know, (motioning for emphasis) it was just so much fun! Now I'd be able to enjoy every minute of it. Can I have a drag? (She hand him the cigarette.)
Céline: Well, your book has been published, that's... that's a pretty big deal, and you've been all around Europe with it. Are you enjoying every minute of it?
Jesse: (Exhaling smoke, and shaking his head.) Not really...
Céline: Not really? (They both laugh.)
Jesse: Do you have another one of those?
Céline: Yes, of course. (Hands him a cigarette.) Um, here. (He takes the cigarette and taps it 3 times on the table.) In my field, I see these people that... (Hands him her cigarette so he can light the one she has given him.)...uh, sorry...come into it with big idealist visions of becoming the new leader that will create a better world. They enjoy the goal, but not the process!
Céline: But the reality of it is that the true work of improving things is in the little achievements of the day. And that's what you need to enjoy, just in that field.
Jesse: What, what do you mean, exactly?
Céline: Well, for example, I was working for this organization that helped villages in Mexico. And their concerns was how to get the pencils sent to the kid in these little country schools. I was not about big revolutionary ideas, it was about pencils. I see the people that do the real work and what's really sad, in a way, is that...the people that are the most giving, hard working and capable of making this world better, usually don't have the ego and ambition to be a leader. They don't see any interest in superficial rewards, they don't care if...if their name ever appear in the press. They actually enjoy the process of helping others, they're in the moment.
Jesse: Yeah, but that's so hard! You know, to be in the moment. I just feel like I'm...designed to be slightly dissatisfied with everything. You know? I mean, like...always trying to better my situation. You know, I satisfy one desire, and it just... agitates another, you know? Then I think, to hell with it, right? I mean, desire is the fuel of life, I mean, do you think it's true that if we never wanted anything, we'd never be unhappy?
Céline: I don't know... Not wanting anything, isn't that... a symptom of depression? Yeah, that is, right? I mean, it's healthy to desire, right?
Jesse: Yeah... I don't know, I mean, it's what all those Buddhist guys say, right? You know, liberate yourself from desire and you'll find that you already have everything you need.
Céline: Yeah, but I feel really alive when I want something more than just basic survival needs. I mean, wanting whether it's intimacy with another person, or a new pair of shoes, is kind of beautiful. I like that we have those ever-renewing desires.
Jesse: Well, maybe it's just a sense of entitlement. You know, like whenever you feel like you deserve that new pair of shoes, you know. It's OK to want things as long as you don't get pissed off if you don't get 'em. Right? Life's hard. It's supposed to be. If we didn't suffer, we wouldn't learn a thing, you know?
Céline: So, what? Are you a Buddhist or something?
Céline: No? Why not?
Jesse: I don't know, uh...Same reason I don't consider myself anything, really.
Céline: Yeah, I know. I decided a long time ago that I was gonna be open to everything, but, not buy into any one-and-only belief system.
Jesse: I went to this, uh, Trappist monastery, a couple of years ago.
Jesse: Yeah, they're Catholics, Cistercians.
Céline: Why did you do that?
Jesse: Why? I had just been doing some reading, I guess... I don't know, I thought it'd be cool. Have you ever spent any time with any monks and nuns?
Céline: No. It's not really my style.
Jesse: No? I expected them to be all glowering and stern, you know, but they weren't. They were really quick to laugh, really easy to be around. Seriously, very attuned to everything. They were just, uh...you know, they weren't trying to hustle anybody. They're trying to live and die, in peace with God, you know, or whatever part of them they feel is eternal. It was just so refreshing to be around. You know, you realize that most of the people that you meet are trying to get somewhere better, you know, they're trying to make a little bit more cash, trying to get a little more respect, have more people admire them, you know. It's just exhausting.
Céline: Yeah, no kidding.
Jesse: You know, it's exhausting to be one of those people yourself, you know? I mean, there I...there I am, right, you know, all greedy to be more spiritual, you know, I wanna be a better person, you know? You can't escape.
Céline: I had this...this boyfriend of mine, many years ago, that wanted to be a Buddhist, and...so he went to Asia to visit some of those monasteries.
Jesse: Yeah, I thought about doing that, too.
Céline: Yeah, you should. I'll tell you why. Ah, he was quite good looking, and, each time he went to one of those monasteries, a monk offered to suck his cock. (They both laugh.) True story!
Jesse: Well, it all comes down to that, doesn't it? I mean, I think that's why I really admire what you're doing, you know?
Céline: What do you mean, sucking cock?
Jesse: Ah, NO. I was gonna say, uh...you know, you're not detached from life. You know, you're putting your passion into action.
Céline: Well, I try.
Jesse: (Reaches forward to put out his cigarette.) Hey, you know something, I'm...I'm gonna be on planes, and like, in an airport for the next 8 hours. I'd just love to...to see a little bit more of Paris. Would you walk around with me a little bit?
Céline: Yeah, yeah, let's do that!
Jesse: Do you mind?
Céline: No, no, no, that's great!
Jesse: Do you want to?
Céline: Let’s do that. Yeah, yeah, that's great! (They both stand up and inspect the bill.)
Jesse: What do we owe here? 4,50. (She reaches for her purse.) No, no, I got it, I got it. I got a little per diem going on here. Is this good for like a tip?
Céline: Yeah, that's fine. That's more than enough.
Jesse: Alright, is there anywhere to go around here?
Céline: (Putting her bag over her shoulder.) Uh, it's sales day, today!
Jesse: (Grabs his coat and shakes his head.) What's that?
Céline: It's when everything is on sale in Paris. It's twice a year. (To the cafe staff.) Au revoir, merci!
Jesse: (To the cafe staff.) Au revoir, merci! Alright, let's go shopping!
Céline: (They exit the cafe and turn left.) No, no, no, no, that's a bad idea. I don't want to inflict that on you. It's madness. Let's just go on this garden path.
Céline: It's really nice.
Scene IV – Garden Walk A La Promenade Plantée
Location notes: the garden walk takes place at la Promenade Plantée, which is atop the Viaduc des Arts, on Avenue Daumesnil. It is located in the 12th arrondissement, and is therefore a 25-30 min. walk from Le Pure Café, not right around the corner as implied by the editing of the film. Metro: Bastille stop on lines 1, 5, 8.
(As of this revision, we do not yet know the exact location of the staircases used by Jesse and Céline to enter and exit the promenade. Please post updates to yahoogroups.)
Jesse: Alright, that sounds better than shopping, actually. I mean, not that I wouldn't do whatever you wanted.
Céline: You know, sometimes I don't even need to buy anything. I just get high on trying on and looking at things.
Jesse: Yeah, well a therapist would tell you...Is this where we're going?
Céline: Yeah! (They begin to climb the stairs.)
Jesse: A therapist would tell you it's all good.
Céline: Are you ever in therapy?
Jesse: Oh, no. Do I seem like I'm in therapy?
Céline: (Laughs.) I'm kidding. Has it helped your sex problems?
Jesse: My SEX problems?
Céline: No, I'm kidding.
Jesse: No, c’mon, tell me the truth. I mean, we didn't have any problems that night.
Céline: No, I'm kidding! (He brushes her hair away from her eyes.) We didn't even have sex, anyway.
Jesse: But, that's a joke, right?
Céline: No, we didn't! I mean, that was the whole thing.
Jesse: No, of course we did!
Céline: No, no, no, no, we didn't. You didn't have a condom, and I never have sex without one. Especially on a one night thing. I mean, I'm extremely paranoid about my health. There's no way I would have...
Jesse: (Stops climbing the stairs, and holds his hands up. Céline turns to face him.) Whoa, I find this very scary that you don't remember what happened.
Céline: What? (Turns away and starts climbing again. Jesse follows.) No, listen, OK...I didn't write an entire book, but I kept a journal, OK? And I wrote the whole night in it. That's what I mean, you idealizing the night!
Jesse: Alright, listen! I even remember what brand of condom we used.
Céline: OK, that's disgusting. I don't want to hear it!
Jesse: It's not disgusting.
Céline: OK, you know what, when I get home, I'll check my journal from '94, but I know I'm right! (Jesse shakes his head quietly while she pauses for a moment and slows down.) Wait a minute...
Céline: Was it in the cemetery?
Jesse: No...no, we went to the cemetery in the afternoon, it was in a park. VERY late at night? In the park.
Céline: (Hand to forehead.) Wait a minute.
Jesse: (Shakes his head in disgust.) I can’t…I can’t…
Céline: (Shakes her head as if trying to remember.) No…
Jesse: Is it that forgettable? I mean, you really don't remember...(clapping hands together for emphasis) in the park!
Céline: OK, wait a minute. I...I think you might be right.
Jesse: Alright now, you're messing with me, now. Are you messing with me?
Céline: OK, no, I'm sorry! I think you...I mean, you're right, OK? Sometimes, I put things in drawers inside my head, and forget about it. (Jesse covers his eyes to show frustration.) I guess it's less painful to put certain things away than to live with it! I'm sorry!
Jesse: So that...that night was a sad memory for you?
Céline: No, I didn't mean that night in particular. I just meant certain things are better off forgotten.
Jesse: I remember that night better than I do entire years.
Céline: Me too.
Jesse: (Sarcastically.) Really?
Céline: Well, I thought I did...But, maybe I...Maybe I put it away because of the fact that...my grandmother's funeral was the day we were supposed to meet again.
Jesse: Yeah, right, it was a tough day for me, but it must have been worse for you.
Céline: It was unreal. I remember looking at her dead body in the coffin. (Sighs.) Her beautiful hands so warm, so sweet, that used to hold me, that...Nothing in that coffin resembled what I remembered of her. All the warmth was gone. Then I was crying...so confused if I was crying because I was never gonna see her again and never gonna see...(sighs) you again. I'm sorry. I'm sorry to go on like this, I've been a little down this week, I don't know.
Céline: I don't know, nothing bad, just... reading your book, maybe? No, but...thinking about how hopeful I was that summer and fall, and since then it's been kind of a...I don't know. Memory is a wonderful thing, if you don't have to, uh, deal with the past.
Jesse: “Memory is a wonderful thing, if you don't have to deal with the past.” Can I put that on a bumper sticker? No, you know what? If you wrote a book about our night, that would be a good title!
Céline: Yeah, it could be a totally different book.
Jesse: Yeah, there'd be no sex scenes. (Céline laughs.)
Céline: But you know what?
Céline: Now that we've met again, we can change our memory of that December 16th. It no longer has that sad ending of us never seeing each other again. Right?
Jesse: Yeah, you’re right. I guess a memory is never finished. As long as you're alive...
Céline: Yeah, I know. I have this memory from my childhood, that I realized recently, never happened.
Céline: Well, when I was 8 or 9, my mom was so paranoid when I was walking home, from my piano lesson at night. She would always warn me about dirty old men, giving me candies, and then showing me their peepees. She was so obsessed with it, that later in life, you know, I had...I had this image in my head that this really happened. To the point that I even associated sex with that walk home. I mean, sometimes, even now, when I'm...(sighs and laughs) when I'm…when I’m having sex, I see myself walking down that street. I swear! (Laughs.) It's so weird, right?
Jesse: Well, is that street nearby? I mean, could...
Céline: NO. (Laughs.) Very far. Did you ever keep a journal when you were a kid?
Jesse: Um, yeah...On and off, I guess.
Céline: It's funny, I read a...one of mine from '83, the other day.
Céline: And, what really surprised me, is that I was feeling with life, the same way am now. I was much more hopeful and naive, but the core, and the way I was feeling things, is exactly the same. It made me realize I haven't changed much at all.
Jesse: Yeah, I don't think anybody does; people don't want to admit it, but it's like we just...we have these innate set points.
Jesse: You know, it's like...nothing much that happens to us changes our disposition.
Céline: Really, you believe that?
Jesse: I think so. I read this study where they followed people who had won the lottery, and people who had become paraplegics, right. I mean you'd think that...you know, one extreme is gonna make you...euphoric, and the other suicidal. But the study shows that after about 6 months…
Jesse: Right...as soon as people got used to their new situation, they were more or less the same.
Céline: The same?
Jesse: Well, yeah...Like if they were basically an optimistic, jovial person, they're now an optimistic, jovial person, in a wheelchair. If they're a petty miserable asshole, OK, they're a petty miserable asshole with a new Cadillac, a house and a boat.
Céline: So, you’ll now be forever depressed, no matter what great things happen in my life?
Céline: Great! (Laughs.)
Jesse: No, c’mon...Are you depressed now?
Céline: No, no, I'm not depressed. But, sometimes I worry that I'll get to the end of my life feeling I haven't done all I've all I wanted to do.
Jesse: Oh, what do you wanna do?
Céline: (Sighs.) I, um, I want to paint more, I wanna...play my guitar everyday, I wanna learn Chinese, I wanna write more songs...There're so many things I wanna do, and end up doing not much.
Jesse: (Laughs.) Alright well, well let me ask you this: do you believe in, like... ghosts or spirits?
Céline: Um, no.
Jesse: OK, uh, what about reincarnation?
Céline: Not at all.
Céline: No. (They both laugh.) That sounds…that sounds terrible. No, no, no. But, at the same time I don't wanna be one of those people that don't believe in any kind of magic, you know.
Jesse: So then, astrology.
Céline: Yes, of course!
Jesse: There we go, right!
Céline: I mean, that makes sense, right? You're a Scorpio, I'm a Sag, so we get along. (They both laugh.) No! No, no…There's a…an Einstein quote I really, really like. He said, um: "If you don't believe in any kind of magic, or mystery, you’re basically as good as dead."
Jesse: Yeah, I like that. I've always felt there was some kind of mystical core to the universe. You know that…More recently, I started to think that...that me...you know, my personality, whatever, that...I don't have any permanent place here. You know, in eternity, or whatever, you know. And the more I think that, I can't go through life saying that this is no big deal, you know. (Punches his right fist into left hand for emphasis.) I mean, this is it! This is actually happening. What do you... think is interesting, what do you think is funny, what do you think is important? You know, every day is our last.
Céline: When I feel that way, I...usually call my mom to tell her how much I love her.
Céline: And she's always: "Are you OK? Do you have cancer? (Jesse laughs.) Are you going to commit suicide?" It's almost not worth it. (Laughs and looks at Jesse.) So, uh…So what about us?
Jesse: What about us?
(At this exact moment, the man in the red shirt and sunglasses gets up from a bench on Jesse’s right and starts to walk toward them. The camera is behind them when he appears. The camera cuts to the front view of Jesse and Céline, but the man in red does not appear for nearly 6 seconds after the cut. We have unconfirmed reports that he stopped to tie his shoe.)
Céline: No, what I mean is, if we were both going to die, tonight…
Jesse: What, like if the Apocalypse was coming?
Céline: No, no, that's too dramatic. But, what if... you know, just the two of us were going to die. I mean, would we talk about your book, the environment or...
Jesse: If today was our last day?
Céline: Yeah, what would we talk about, what would you tell me, for example?
Céline: That's hard.
Jesse: No, I'll do it, I'll do it. I definitely... would stop talking about my book. I have to admit I would probably drop the environment. But, I would still...want to talk about, you know, magic and the universe. I'd just wanna do it from a...
Jesse: ...a hotel room. You know? In between sessions of us, uh wildly fucking, until we die.
Céline: Wow?! Well, why waste time with an hotel room? Why not do it right there…(motioning) on a bench?
Jesse: (Grabs her by the left wrist and drags her to the bench, sitting down while he puts her on his lap.) Come here, come here...
Céline: No! (Covers her eyes and whimpers in mock horror.) OK. We're not gonna die tonight. OK?
Jesse: Alright, too bad.
Jesse: I'm sorry.
Céline: (Gets off his lap, and sits on the bench on Jesse’s left.) That was…an extreme example.
Jesse: I'm sorry.
Céline: OK. What I...My point was, you know, to truly communicate with people is very hard to do.
Jesse: No, I know, I mean most of our...most of our day to day exchanges…
Céline: Yeah, I know, I mean... not to bring everything back to sex.
Jesse: But, why not?
Céline: No, no, this example, this friend of mine, she...she was talking about..she and her boyfriend…problems in bed.
Céline: And, uh, how when, they had been dating for a year, she started telling him what he could do to please her more. And it totally freaked him out.
Céline: Totally. Well, he felt all threatened and he thought he was a bad lover.
Jesse: Maybe she shouldn't have waited so long. You know, after a year…
Céline: Well, yeah, but, men are so easily offended!
Jesse: Oh, what, more than women, you think?
Céline: Oh, definitely on that subject!
Jesse: You think so?
Céline: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, maybe it's because, you know...men are...easier to...you know...to please.
Jesse: (At the same time.) To please?
Céline: Well, I don't know...
Jesse: Yeah, they are, they definitely...definitely.
Céline: Anyway, this friend of mine, she was telling me that, um, next time she dates another man, she's gonna make a little questionnaire, about what they like and dislike, before they even...
Jesse: Oh, like written down, or out loud?
Céline: Yeah, yeah, written down, mostly written down. But it wouldn't be just...you know, yes or no, it would be a little more complex than that. Like for example, if the question is: "Are you into S&M?" The answer could be, "No, but, a good spanking once in a while doesn't hurt." (Jesse laughs.) Right?
Jesse: Right. Or like, uh, what, "So do you like talking dirty in bed?" That kind of thing?
Céline: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but not just like...any dirty talk. Just like: "What specific word would you like to hear?" You know, like...
Jesse: What, me?
Céline: Well, yeah. Like, for example, like what specific word would you like to hear?
Jesse: I don't know...
Céline: Um...what do you feel about the word "Pussy"? (Gestures as if writing the word.)
Céline: Good. (Laughs.) It's amazing what...perverts we've become in the past 9 years.
Jesse: I know, I know. Well, at least now we don't have to pretend that each new sexual experience is like a life-altering event.
Céline: I know, by now, I know you've stuck it in so many places, it's like, about to fall off.
Jesse: I mean, you know, I can't realistically expect you to have become anything but a total ho’, at this point.
Céline: Yeah, thank you.
Jesse: (Laughs.) No, I'm sor...
Céline: That's true, what can you do?
Jesse: What can you do? (Both look away for a moment.) So...what kind of songs do you write? I didn't know you did that.
Céline: What kind?
Jesse: Yeah, sure.
Céline: I don't know, just songs. Like some are about, you know, people, um, relationships. One's about my cat.
Jesse: Sing one! Just...
Céline: No, I can't, I don't have a guitar.
Jesse: Oh, I mean, come on, a capella.
Céline: No, no, no. No, no, no, I'm not singing a song without a guitar, you're nuts!
Jesse: (In mock disbelief.) Why not? (Céline laughs.)
Céline: No, OK, not now.
Jesse: One! (Holds up his finger.)
Jesse: If not now, when? You want to meet here in six months, with a guitar? You know, I'll fly all they way over here, you may or may not make the metro...
Céline: OK, that's... that's funny. That’s really no…(Stands up suddenly from the bench, and extends her left hand.) We've got to get going back to the bookstore!
Jesse: (Looks at his watch.) What, we’ve got…
Céline: You'll miss your flight. Come on, let's go! (Takes him by the left hand, and pulls him up off the bench.)
Jesse: Alright, alright.
Céline: We can walk down la Seine. It's…it’s a nice thing. (A jogger runs past them.) So, you're flying back to New York?
Jesse: Yeah, yeah.
Céline: So I read in that article that you're married, with a kid. That's great!
Jesse: Yeah, he's um…He's 4.
Céline: Uhum, what's his name?
Jesse: Henry. Little Hank, he's so much fun.
Céline: Oh, wow, I'm sure. (They reach some stairs and start to walk down.) And, your wife, what does she do?
Jesse: She teaches elementary school. Do you…do you have kids?
Céline: Yes, two…Shit! (Stops and grabs the railing.)
Céline: I left them in the car! With the windows up, it was 6 months ago. (Jesse laughs.) No, I'm kidding. (They start climbing down again.) No, but um...(Jesse climbs onto the railing, and begins sliding down with his feet first.) I want to have kids someday, I'm just not ready, yet.
Jesse: (Still sliding down the railing.) Yeah?
Céline: Yeah, I'm in a good relationship, though.
Jesse: Oh, yeah? That's good.
Jesse: What's he do?
Céline: He's a photojournalist. He does, uh, war coverage. He's away a lot, which in a way is good for me, because I'm so busy. (They reach the bottom of the stairs and continue walking.)
Location notes: at this point, the camera cuts to Jesse and Céline walking along la Seine on the Left Bank. The scene has jumped from the 12th arrondissement to the 5th, not far from the bookstore. In reality, you would need to walk 20-25 min. from la Promenade Plantée to reach this point. Behind them, Pont de la Tournelle is visible.
Scene V – Boatride A La Seine
Location notes: Jesse and Céline board the boat at Quai de la Tournelle, facing Notre Dame from the south, and get off the boat at Quai Henri IV. In reality, their ride would only cover 1 stop on the normal boat route, and take about 5 minutes. In the film, they stay on the boat much longer. We know the boatride on film does not exist by counting the number of bridges that they pass through – 7. In reality, riding the boat between those two stops, you would only pass under 2 bridges. The Quai de la Tournelle is only 5 min. walk from the bookstore. Note Céline’s mild protests about getting on the boat were not entirely about Jesse being late for his plane; these boats, known as “les bateaux mouches,” are rather looked down upon by the Parisian locals.
Jesse: Yeah, but isn't it dangerous? I mean, aren't a lot of those guys getting killed these days?
Céline: He promises me he doesn't take risks. (They veer right from the sidewalk to walk close toward the river.) But I often worry. He goes in this trance when he starts to photograph some things.
Jesse: What do you mean?
Céline: Well, once we were in New Delhi and we passed a bum, that was lying down the sidewalk…
Jesse: A “bom”?
Céline: A bum! A homeless...
Jesse: A bum (laughs), alright.
Céline: Anyway, like, he looked like he needed help, but his first reaction was to photograph him. He went, like, really close to his face, fixing his collar, to make it look better. He was like totally detached from the person.
Jesse: Yeah, but don’t you have to be like that to be good at that job?
Céline: Yeah, I mean, I'm not...you know, I'm not...I'm not judging him for it, you know? What he does is essential and incredible. All I'm saying is I could never do it.
Jesse: (Motioning to tourist boat.) Let's get on that boat! Come on!
Jesse: No, come on, it will be fun!
Céline: You don't have time! We gotta go.
Jesse: It's just about to take off. Look, I've got... I've got...15 more minutes...um, do you have a cell phone?
Jesse: Alright, look, I got that...that driver guy's number, and I can call him, and then they... can pick us up at wherever the next stop is.
Céline: OK, you know I've never been on these boats, it's for tourists, it's embarrassing!
Céline: OK, alright. (To the boat attendant.) Ahh, c’est bon? On peut rentrées? (Is it OK for us to get on?) (They board the boat.) Deux tickets, s'il vous plait! (Two tickets please.)
Jesse: No, I'll get it, I'll get it.
Céline: Non, non, c'est bon, j’ai de l’argent! (No, it’s OK, I have money!)
Jesse: Alright, alright, alright.
Céline: (To the boat attendant.) C'est ou qu'il s'arrete…le prochain arrete? (Whene does it stop…the next stop?)
Attendant: C’est au quai…merci monsieur. (At the next quai…thank you, sir.)
Jesse: So, you're in love with that guy?
Céline: What guy?
Jesse: The... the war photographer.
Céline: Yes, of course. (To the attendant.) Merci. (Thank you.)
Jesse: (To the attendant) Merci. (To Céline.) I'm sorry, do you...do you have that cell phone?
Céline: Oh, yeah. OK.
Jesse: (Turns on the phone.) Alright, what do I tell him?
Céline: Yeah, tell him to pick you up at "Quai Henri IV"
Jesse: Oh, shit. At "Que..."
Céline: Henri quatre, Quai Henri quatre...HEN-RI QUA-TRE... (Laughs.) What's wrong with you? No, do you want me to...Henri quatre.
Jesse: Henry four?
Jesse: Come on, why didn't you say so?
Céline: I'm sorry! (Walks slowly to the bow of the boat as it pulls away from the dock while Jesse speaks on the phone.)
Jesse: (On telephone.) Yes, is this Philippe? Yeah, Philippe, this is Jesse Wallace...uh yeah. Listen, I'm...I'm ah, on one of those boats, right? Um and we're gonna arrive at...uh...Henry Four...at Port Henry Four, you know, you know what that is? Alright, gre...And you have my bags, right? Yeah, so will be there in...I don't know it's the next stop. OK. Au revoir. (Heads to the bow of the boat and sits down next to Céline, facing the back of the boat.)
Jesse: Yeah, yeah.
Jesse: (Looks up at Notre Dame Cathedral behind the boat.) Oh, wow! Notre Dame...man, check that out!
Céline: Oh, wow!
Jesse: I heard this story once, about when the...the Germans were occupying Paris and they had to retreat back, they wired Notre Dame to blow. But they had to...they had to leave one guy in charge of hitting the switch and the guy, the soldier, he...he couldn't do it. You know, he just sat there, knocked out by how beautiful the place was. And then, when the Allied troops came in, they found all the explosives just lying there...and the switch unturned and they found the same thing at...Sacre Coeur...Eiffel Tower...a couple of other places, I think.
Céline: Is that true?
Jesse: I don't know... I always liked the story, though.
Céline: Yeah, that's a great story. But you have to think that Notre Dame will be gone one day. There used to be another church or cathedral at the same...right there.
Jesse: What, right in the same spot?
Céline: Yeah. Yeah, this is great, I've never done this!
Céline: I forget about how beautiful Paris is.
Jesse: It's not so bad being a tourist, you know.
Céline: Thank you for getting me on the boat.
Jesse: Well, you're welcome. You know, I think that book that I wrote, in a way, was like building something. So that I wouldn't forget the details of the time that we spent together. You know like, just as a reminder that...that once we really did meet, you know, that this was real. This happened.
Céline: I’m happy you’re saying that because...I mean, I always feel like a freak because I'm never able to move on like (snaps her fingers) this! You know? People just have an affair or even...entire relationships...they break up and they forget! They move on like they would have changed brand of cereals! I feel I was never able to forget anyone I've been with. Because each person have...their own specific qualities. You can never replace anyone. What is lost is lost.
Each relationship when it ends really damages me; I never fully recover. That's why I'm very careful with getting involved because...it hurts too much! Even getting laid - I actually don't do that. I will miss of the person the most mundane things. Like I'm obsessed with little things.
Maybe I'm crazy, but...when I was a little girl, my mom told me that I was always late to school. One day she followed me to see why. I was looking at chestnuts falling from the trees rolling on the sidewalk or...ants crossing the road...the way a leaf casts a shadow on a tree trunk...little things. I think it's the same with people. I see in them little details so specific to each of them that move me and that I miss, and...will always miss. You can never replace anyone, because everyone is made of such beautiful specific details.
(Smiling directly at Jesse.) Like I remember the way your beard has a little bit of red in it. And how the sun was making it glow that...that morning, right before you left. I remember that and...I missed it! I'm really crazy, right?
Jesse: Alright, now I know for sure. You wanna know why I wrote that stupid book?
Jesse: So that you might come to a reading in Paris, and I could walk up to you and ask, "Where the fuck were you?"
Céline: (Sits down close to him.) No, you think I'd be here today?
Jesse: I'm serious, I think I...I wrote it in a way to try to find you.
Céline: OK, that's... I know that's not true, but that's sweet of you to say it.
Jesse: I think it is true. What do you think the chances were of us ever meeting again?
Céline: After that December I'd say almost zero. If we're not real anyway, right? We're just...characters in that old lady's dream. She's on her death bed fantasizing about her youth...so of course we have to meet again!
Jesse: Oh, God! (Sighs loudly as he walks to the side of the boat, and looks back at her.) Why weren't you there in Vienna?
Céline: (Hesitantly.) I told you why!
Jesse: Well, I know why, I just (pounds his fist into his hand twice) I wish you would've been! Our lives might have been so much different!
Céline: You think so?
Jesse: I actually do...
Céline: Maybe not, maybe we would have hated each other, eventually.
Jesse: Oh, what, like we hate each other now?
Céline: (Follows him to the side of the boat.) You know, maybe we're...we're only good at brief encounters, walking around in European cities, in warm climate!
Jesse: Oh, God, why didn't we exchange phone numbers and stuff? Why didn't we do that?
Céline: (Puts a finger to her mouth in a sarcastic gesture.) Because we were young and stupid?
Jesse: You think we still are?
Céline: I guess when you're young...you just believe there'll be many people with whom you'll connect with. Later in life you realize it only happens a few times.
Jesse: Yeah, you can screw it up! You know, misconnect...
Céline: (Circles from his left to his right.) Well, the past is the past. It was meant to be that way.
Jesse: What, you really believe that? That everything is fated?
Céline: Well, you know, the world might be less free than we think.
Céline: Yeah, when given this exact circumstances, that's what will happen every time. Two part hydrogen, one part oxygen, you'll get water every time.
Jesse: No, no...no, I mean, what if your grandmother had lived a week longer, you know? Or passed away a week earlier, days even, you know. Things might have been different, I believe that!
Céline: No, you can't think like that.
Jesse: I mean...I know you shouldn't on most things, but...it's just...on this one it seemed like something was off! You know, I mean...in the months leading up to my wedding, OK, I was thinking about you all the time. I mean, even on my way there. I'm in the car, and a buddy of mine is driving me downtown, and I'm staring out the window, and I think I see you - not far from the church, right – folding up an umbrella and walking into a deli on the corner of...13th and Broadway. And I thought I was going crazy, you know? But now I think it probably was you.
Céline: (Quietly.) I lived on 11th and Broadway.
Jesse: You see?
Céline: So, (sigh) what is it like to be married? You haven't talked much about that. (Circles back to Jesse’s left and leans on the front railing.)
Jesse: I haven't? (Sarcastically.) How weird?! I don't know, we met...you know when I was in college...and uh…we broke up and got back together, for a period of years, and then...um…what…we were sort of back together, and she was pregnant...so, marriage.
Céline: What is she like?
Jesse: She's a great teacher, a good mom. Ahh, she's smart...pretty...I remember thinking at the time, that so many of the men that I admired most, you know, that their lives were...were dedicated to something greater than themselves.
Céline: So you got married because men you admired were married?
Jesse: No, no, it...it's more like I have this...this idea of my best self! You know? And I wanted to pursue that...even if it might have been overriding my honest self! You know what I'm saying? I mean, it's funny like...in the moment I remember thinking that it didn't much matter the "Who?" of it all...I mean that…that nobody is gonna be everything to you...and that ultimately it's just a simple action of committing yourself, you know meeting your responsibilities that...that matters. I mean what is love, right, if it's not respect, trust, admiration…and I...I felt all those things! So cut to the present tense, and I feel like I'm running a small nursery with somebody I...used to date, you know. I mean, I'm like a monk, you know. I mean, I've had sex less than...10 times in the last 4 years. (Céline breaks into laughter.) What? What, what? Are you laughing at me?
Jesse: It sounds pathetic?
Céline: What monastery do the monks have sex…uh, 10 times?
Jesse: OK, I'm doing better than most monks, alright? But I do, I feel like if somebody were to touch me, you know, I would (waves his hands for emphasis) dissolve into molecules.
Céline: Well, we're here. (Looking back, and nudging Jesse in the elbow.) We've gotta go. Come on.
Jesse: (Looking back to see they’ve suddenly arrived.) Shit!
Céline: (To the boat attendant.) Bonsoir! (Good evening.)
(They walk up a ramp toward Philippe, who is waiting with the car.)
Céline: I'm sorry, uh... to hear that.
Céline: You know, that you're not that happy with your marriage. Well, this friend of mine, she's a shrink, and uh...
Jesse: Yeah? How's she doing?
Céline: She's a mess, but...no, she was telling me that she's been dealing with a lot of couples that are breaking up for the same exact reason.
Jesse: Uhum, what reason is that?
Céline: Well, all these couples expected after a few years of living together for the passion, that consuming desire, to be the same as in the beginning.
Céline: It's impossible!
Jesse: No, I know, I know that...
Céline: I mean, God, otherwise we would end up with an aneurysm if we were in that constant state of excitement, right? We would end up doing nothing at all with our lives. Do you think you would you would have finished your book, if...if you were fucking somebody every 5 minutes?
Jesse: I might have welcomed the challenge.
Céline: But, you know it's not true, for your wife after the birth of your son...she has to give all her love to the little one!
Jesse: Of course…of course.
Céline: Imagine that she was totally obsessed with sex, right, and you’re like a wild cat...that wouldn't make any sense, right?
Jesse: Everything you say makes sense! It's...it's not about sex. I...
Céline: No, I know, it's...obvious. I...You know, couples are so confused, uh lately. I think it must be that...men need to feel essential, and they don't anymore. Because it's been imprinted in their heads for so many years that they had to be the provider...like I, I'm a strong independent woman in my professional life. I don't need a man to feed me but I still need a man to love me and that I could love, you know. (They approach the car.) So, uh...your driver's here. Well, I guess this is goodbye, and...uh, you'd better give me your...
Jesse: No, no...why don't we just give you a ride home, wherever you're going. Huh?
Céline: Well, I can take the Metro...
Jesse: No, no, no. My flight it's not until 10, right? They’ve got me arriving two hours early. This way we can keep talking. No, no no…(Speaking to Philippe.) Monsieur...can…
Céline: (Speaking to Philippe.) Ca vous arrive me deposer au passage 18 rue des Petites Ecuries? (Can you drop me off at 18 rue des Petites Ecuries?)
Jesse: Oui. (Yes.)
Philippe: Oui, oui. Allons-y, allons-y. (Yes, yes. Let’s go, let’s go.)
Céline: D’accord. Ce n'est pas de probleme pas? (It’s not a problem, is it?)
Philippe: Non, non, c’est pas de probleme. (No, no, no problem.)
(Jesse and Céline get in the back seat of the car.)
Céline: Vous pouvez me laissez au metro...au metro Chateau d'Eau. Ca ira tres bien. (You can drop me off at the metro...at the Chateau d’Eau stop. That would be great.)
Philippe: Entendu! (Got it, thanks.)
Jesse: You told him where you are and all that shit?
Céline: Oui, oui, yeah. (Céline speaks in French to Philippe, directing him to her apartment. She mentions Boulevard de Strasbourg at some point, but this is perhaps intentional misdirection for the film audience; you’ll see why, below.)
Jesse: So, he knows where he's going?
(The car pulls away.)
Scene VI – The Car Ride
Location notes: Quai Henri IV is located on the Right Bank just west of Pont d’Austerlitz.
Jesse: Glad somebody does. Now, this is better than the Metro, right?
(The camera cuts ahead of the car, leading it as it pulls onto the main road. The conversation continues.)
Céline: I was thinking...for me it's better I don't romanticize things as much anymore. I was suffering so much all the time. I still have lots of dreams, but they're not in regard to my love life. (Cut to interior of the car.) It doesn't make me sad, it's just the way it is.
Jesse: Is that why you're in a relationship with somebody who's never around?
Céline: Yes, obviously, I can't deal with the day to day life of a relationship. Yeah, we have, you know, this exciting time together and then he leaves, and I miss him, but at least I'm not dying inside. When someone is always around me, I'm like suffocating!
Jesse: No, wait, you just said that you need to love and be loved...
Céline: Yeah, but when I do it quickly makes me nauseous! It's a disaster... I mean I'm really happy only when I'm on my own. Even being alone...it's better than...sitting next to a lover and feeling lonely. It's not so easy for me to be all romantic. You start off that way and after you've been screwed over a few times...you...you…you forget about all your delusional ideas and you just take what comes into your life. That's not even true I haven't been...screwed over, I've just had too many blah relationships. They weren't mean, they cared for me, but... there were no real...connection or excitement. At least not from my side.
Jesse: God, I'm sorry, is it...is it really that bad? It's not, right?
Céline: (Shaking her head with eyes nearly watering.) You know...it's not even that. I was...I was fine, until I read your fucking book! It stirred shit up, you know? It reminded me how genuinely romantic I was, how I had so much hope in things, and now it's like...I don't believe in anything that relates to love. I don't feel things for people anymore. In a way...I put all my romanticism into that one night, and I was never able to feel all this again. Like...somehow this night took things away from me and...I expressed them to you, and you took them with you! It made me feel cold, like if love wasn't for me!
Jesse: I... I don't believe that. I don't believe that.
Céline: You know what? Reality and love are almost contradictory for me. It's funny...every single of my ex’s...they're now married! Men go out with me, we break up, and then they get married! And later they call me to thank me for teaching them what love is, and…
Jesse: (Smiling sympathetically.) Oh God. (Rubs his face with both hands.)
Céline: …and that I taught them to care and respect women!
Jesse: (Pointing at himself.) I think I'm one of those guys.
Céline: (Yelling.) You know, I want to KILL them!! Why didn't they ask ME to marry them? I would have said "No", but at least they could have asked!! But it's my fault, I know it's my fault, because...I never felt it was the right man. Never! But what does it mean the right man? The love of your life? The concept is absurd; the idea that we can only be complete with another person is...EVIL!! RIGHT??!!
Jesse: (Sheepishly.) Can I talk?
Céline: (Speaking more quietly.) You know, I guess I've been heartbroken too many times. And then I recovered. So now, you know, from the starts I make no effort…because I know it’s not going to work out, I know it’s not going to work out.
Jesse: You can't do that. You can't do that, you can't live your life trying to avoid pain, at the expense of en...
Céline: (Interrupting.) OK, you know what? (Moving her fingers to mock the movement of Jesse’s mouth as he speaks.) Those are words! I've gotta...I've gotta get away from you. (To Philippe.) Stop the car, I want to get out!
Jesse: No, no, no, don't...don't get out.
Céline: You know, it's being around you...
Jesse: Keep talking...
Céline: (Jesse grabs her arm) Don't touch me! (Slaps his hand.) You know, I wanna get on a cab...
(To Philippe.) Monsieur! Arretez-vous! Non, non, c'est bon, au feu la! Juste au feu, au coin, il y a un metro meme! Je veux prendre le metro. (Sir, please stop! No, no, it’s okay, at the next traffic light, at the corner, there is even a metro! I want to take the metro.)
Jesse: (To Philippe) No, no, no, keep going... (To Céline) No, listen, I'm just so happy... (To Philippe) Thank you, just keep going...(To Céline.) Alright. Look, I am just so happy, alright...to be with you. I am. I'm so glad you didn’t forget about me. OK.
Céline: No, I didn't...and it pisses me off, OK? You come here to Paris, all romantic, and married, OK? Screw you! Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to get you or anything. I mean, all I need is married man! There's been so much water under the bridge, it's...it's not even about you anymore, it's about that time, that moment in time that is forever gone, I don't know!
Jesse: You...you say all that, but you didn't even remember having sex. So...
Céline: (Flatly, with resignation.) Of course I remembered.
Jesse: (Confused.) You did?
Céline: Yes! Women pretend things like that. I don’t know…(Laughs.)
Jesse: (Still confused.) They do?
Céline: Yeah, what was I supposed to say? That I remember the wine in the park and...us looking up at the stars fading away as the sun came up? We had sex TWICE (claps her hands), you idiot!
Jesse: Alright, you know what? I'm just...happy to see you, even if...you've become an angry, manic depressive activist. I still like you! I still enjoy being around you!
(Reaches out to touch her face, but pulls his hand back quickly, before she notices.)
Céline: And I feel the same. (Laughing.) I'm...I'm sorry, I don't know what happened. I just...I had to let it all out. I...
Jesse: Don't worry about it.
Céline: I'm so miserable in my love life, in my relationship, I always act as... like...you know, I'm detached, but I'm... I'm dying inside. I'm dying because I'm so numb. I don't feel pain, or excitement. I'm not even bitter, I'm just...uh…
Jesse: You think you're the one dying inside? My life is twenty four-seven...BAD.
Céline: I'm sorry.
Jesse: No, no, no...I mean, the only happiness I get is when I'm out with my son. I've been to marriage counseling, I've done things I never thought I would have to do. I lit candles, bought self-help books, lingerie...
Céline: Did the candles help?
Jesse: HELL. NO. (Plaintively.) Alright, I don’t love her the way she needs to be loved, and...I don't even see a future for us. But then I look at...at my little boy, sitting at the table across from me, and I think I would suffer any torture to be with him for all the minutes of his life. You know, I don't wanna miss out on one. But then...there's no joy, or laughter, in my home. You know, and I don't want him growing up in that!
Céline: Oh, no laughter? That's terrible. My parents have been together for 35 years and even when they have a bad fight they end up laughing like crazy.
Jesse: I just...I don't wanna be one of those people who are...getting divorced at 52 and falling down into tears admitting that they never really loved their spouse, and they feel that their life has been (waves his hand, as if being pulled) sucked up into a vacuum cleaner! You know, I want a great life. I want her to have a great life. She deserves that! Alright? But we're just living in a pretense of a marriage, responsibility and all these...just...ideas of how people are supposed to live. Then I...I have these dreams...
Céline: What dreams?
Jesse: (Looks away distantly, eyes starting to water.) I have these dreams, you know, that I’m…I'm standing on a platform, and uh, you keep going by on a train, and...you go by, and you go by, and you go by, and you go by, and I wake up with the fucking sweats, you know? And then I have this other dream, oh...where you're...pregnant, in bed beside me, naked, and I want so badly to touch you, but you tell me not to and then you look away and...and I...I...I touch you anyway, right on your ankle and your skin is so soft and I wake up in sobs, alright? (Inhales deeply.) And my wife is sitting there looking at me, and I feel like I'm a million miles from her, and I know that there's something...wrong! (Céline reaches out to stroke Jesse’s face, but pulls her hand back before he sees her.) You know, that I ca...that I can't keep living like this, that there's gotta be something more to love than commitment. But then I think that...I might have given up...on the whole idea of romantic love. That I...I might have put it to bed that...that day when you weren't there. You know, I think I might have done that.
Céline: (Eyes starting to water again.) Why are you telling me all this?
Jesse: I'm sorry. I don't know, I'm...I...I should...I...I shouldn't have.
Céline: You know, it's so weird...that people think they are the only one going through tough times. I mean when I read the article I thought...your life was perfect. A wife, a kid, a published author. (Jesse laughs.) Your personal life is more of a mess than mine! I'm sorry! (Both laugh.)
Jesse: Well...I'm glad it's good for something.
Céline: (To Philippe.) Oh, monsieur, c'est la! Rentrez dans la passe la. (Sir, this is it. Pull into the alley right there.)
(Camera cuts to exterior of the car pulling into the driveway of Céline’s apartment.)
Scene VII – Chez Céline
Location notes: Céline’s apartment is NOT on rue des Petites Ecuries as she had verbally directed Philippe. It is located in “Cour de l’Etoile d’Or” (Courtyard of the Golden Star) somewhere off of rue Faubourg St. Antoine, which borders the 11th and 12th arrondissements directly east of Place de la Bastille. You can see this name above the driveway during the opening montage of street scenes.
(As of this revision, we do not yet know the exact location of Cour de l’Etoile d’Or on rue Faubourg St. Antoine. Please post updates to yahoogroups.)
(They walk around a vehicle barricade then proceed down a cobblestone walkway lined with trees and vines.)
Jesse: This is...this is...this is where you live?
Jesse: So, uh, you're just relieved that I'm in even more deep shit than you are?
Céline: Yes. You've made me feel better.
(Camera cuts to interior of the car.)
Jesse: Oh, good, I'm glad.
Céline: No, I really wish you the best. It's not because I'm incapable of having a good relationship or a family that I wish everyone to be doomed like me.
Jesse: I'm sure you might make a great mom someday.
Céline: Really, you think so?
Jesse: Oh, yeah. A few anti-depressants...you know, you'll do great.
Céline: Oh, no…(As she did earlier in the film, she raises her left hand and wiggles her fingers back and forth in front of his face.) OK…say "Stop"!
Jesse: Um, "Stop"!
Céline: (Stops wiggling her fingers, and gives him just the 3rd finger. They cheer together.) Ohhhh!!
Jesse: Heey! OK, you ready?
(They get out of the car and walk forward a few steps, stopping near the front of the car.)
Céline: So... I want to try something.
Céline: (Hugs him tightly - Jesse is surprised and holds back, momentarily.) I want to see if you stay together or if you dissolve into molecules.
Jesse: (Hugs her closer.) How am I doing?
Céline: Still here.
Jesse: Good, I like being here. (They separate and look intently into each other’s eyes.) Is this your apartment? (Motions behind her.)
Céline: Oh, no, I live down there. (Motions ahead of them.)
Jesse: Down there?
Jesse: (To Philippe who is waiting in the car.) Um, monsieur...I'm gonna walk her to her door. Uh…
Céline: (Translating for Philippe.) Il va m'accompagner a la porte.
Jesse: This is incredible! This is where you live?
Jesse: How long have you been here?
Céline: Four years. So tell me...
Céline: Is it all true, about your dreams, or...did you just say that to hopefully get in my pants?
Jesse: Oh, I just said that to get into your pants! I use that all the time...
Céline: Oh, OK. Does it work?
Jesse: Eh, you know...sometimes.
Céline: (Motions to her cat in the path before them.) Here is my kitty! Oh, so cute! Look at him. You know what I love about this cat? It's that...every morning, I bring him down to the courtyard, and every single morning he looks at everything like it was the first time! Every corner, every tree, every plant. He smells everything with his little cute nose. Oh, I love my kitty! I love my kitty!
Jesse: What's his name?
Jesse: (Disbelievingly, then smugly.) Che? Uh-huh.
Céline: No, "Che" in Argentina means "Hey"! (Cuddling the cat.) Oh, baby! Oh, yes, yes, yes.
(They approach her apartment building, veering to their left as they get closer to the doorway. In the courtyard, hanging paper lanterns, tables, and chairs have been set up for a cookout. A man stands at a barbecue grill, cooking, while other people mill about preparing for the party.)
Céline: We're having a little party. It's so much fun!
Man: (To Céline.) Qu'est-ce que vous avez fait de bon pour ce soir? (What good thing are you making for tonight?)
Céline: Un taboulet! Je vais descendre en cinq minutes! (Some tabouli, I’ll be down in 5 minutes.)
Man at the grill: Salut! (See you later.)
Jesse: (To the man.) Uh...Salut!
(They approach the stairs. Céline walks up the stairs and turns around to speak to him standing below.)
(A woman appears in the doorway behind Céline, carrying plates for the party.)
Woman: (Smiling directly at Jesse, who smiles back.) C'est qui celui-la? Il est mignon! Il mange avec nous? (Who’s this? He’s cute. Is he going to eat with us?)
Céline: Non, il prend l'avion. (No, he has to catch a plane.)
Woman: Tant pis. Il goutera pas mes pates au pois chiches. (Too bad. You won’t get to try my garbanzo bean pasta.)
Man at the grill: Pour-quoi il ne mange pas avec nous? (Why doesn’t he stay to eat with us?)
(Cut to woman walking towards man at grill.)
Woman: Il n'aime pas ton short! (He doesn’t like your shorts.)
Man at the grill: (Looking down at his shorts.) Mais qu'est-ce qu'il y a mon short? (What’s wrong with my shorts?)
(Céline and Jesse laugh at the couple and return to their conversation.)
Jesse: You know what I...I was thinking…um...would you play me one of your songs?
Céline: You're gonna miss your flight!
Jesse: I won't, I won't! I’m gonna be sitting in the airport for over an hour, reading the newspaper, alright. Wishing you played me one of your songs.
Céline: One song?
Céline: OK, but quickly.
(They enter the building and walk up the stairs. The paint on the walls is chipped and seasoned.)
Jesse: God, I love these old staircases.
(They slowly ascend the stairs to the 2nd floor, walking side-by-side as the camera watches them catching glances at each other. Céline is still cuddling with her cat. We hear only their footsteps and the stairs creaking underneath them as they climb for almost 40 seconds.)
Céline: Hold this! (Hands the cat to Jesse as she unlocks the door to her apartment.)
Jesse: (To the cat) Hey there, buddy! Che...
(They enter Céline’s studio apartment with many photographs on the walls and books stacked on the floor.)
Céline: Would you like some tea?
Jesse: Yeah, sure.
(Céline stays in the kitchen to make tea while Jesse looks around her apartment.)
Céline: Is chamomile OK?
Jesse: Yeah. Great. Merci!
Céline: “Messy”? You think my apartment is messy?
Jesse: No, no, no. Merci, merci...merci beaucoup.
Céline: Ah, "merci." I meant to tell you. Your French has improved a lot.
Jesse: (Surprised.) Really?
Céline: Yeah! Yeah, you've really mastered the language. (Laughs.)
Jesse: Alright, alright. What song are you gonna play me, huh? (Takes off his coat.)
Céline: No, I...I can't. It's too embarrassing. It's been...
Jesse: Whoa! No way, no way! I came all the way up here, you cannot crap out on me now. One song (plops down on the couch), anything will be great.
Céline: No, but listen, you're gonna laugh at me...
Jesse: You think so?
Jesse: I doubt it.
Céline: (Walks slowly toward him from the kitchen.) OK. What do you want to hear? I have a...I have 3 songs in English. One's about my cat, one's about...my ex-boyfriend, well, ex-ex-boyfriend, and there’s one about…(sits on the bed opposite Jesse) well...it's just a...little waltz. (Picks up her guitar, which is leaning against the bed.)
Jesse: A waltz? Yeah, play the waltz.
Céline: I haven't played it in a while, you sure? (Jesse nods enthusiastically, with a big grin.) Alright, the waltz. OK…(sings)
Let me sing you, a waltz. Out of nowhere, out of my thoughts. Let me sing you, a waltz. About this one night stand. You were for me that night, Everything I always dreamt of in life.
But now you're gone. You are far gone. All the way to your island of rain.
It was for you just a one night thing. But you were much more to me, Just so you know.
I don't care what they say I know what you meant for me that day.
I just wanted another try. I just wanted another night. Even if it doesn't seem quite right.
You meant for me much more Than anyone I've met before.
One single night with you, little...Jesse... Is worth a thousand with any-body. I have no bitterness, my sweet. I'll never forget this one night thing. Even tomorrow in other arms. My heart will stay yours until I die.
Let me sing you a waltz Out of nowhere, out of my blues. Let me sing you a waltz. About this lovely one night stand.
(Céline breathes a huge sigh of relief as she finishes the song. Jesse claps.)
Jesse: No, one more, one more. Please, please? C’mon. Please, please?
Céline: No! No, no, no, no - it was our deal. One... one song! No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
Céline: You can have your tea, and then ah... (Quickly retreats to the kitchen.)
Jesse: (Stands up and approaches the bookcase.) Alright, let me...Let me ask you one question. Do you just plug that name in for every guy that comes up here?
Céline: Oh, yes, of course! What do you think, that I wrote this song about you? Are you nuts? (Laughs.)
Jesse: (Points to a childhood photo of Céline hanging on the wall.) Oh, is this you? Little cross-eyed Céline?
Céline: Yes. That’s funny…
Jesse: Cute! Is that your grandmother? (Motions toward a photo of Céline and her Grandmother.)
Jesse: Oh, wow.
Céline: You want some honey?
Jesse: Yeah, sure.
(Jesse looks through her collection of CD’s, selects one, and puts it in the CD player. Céline smiles when she hears the music.)
Céline: (Referring to the CD Jesse has selected.) Did you ever see Nina Simone in concert?
Jesse: No, I never did. I can't believe she's gone.
Céline: I know, it's so sad!
(Jesse sits back down on the couch as Céline brings him the tea.)
Céline: It’s hot. (Walks back to the kitchen.) I saw her twice, in concert. She was so great! (Motions to the CD player.) That's one of my favorite songs of hers.
(Singing along with the CD.) ...I know where I'm going... ...No more doubt or fear... ...Found my way...click, click, click." (Laughs.)
She was so great! She was so funny in concert! She, she would... she would be right in the middle of a song and then...you know, stop and...and uh…walk from the piano all the way to the edge of the stage. Like, really slowly...
(Mimics Nina Simone, pouting her lips, shifting her hips as she walks.) And she'd start talking to someone in the audience...
(Still mimicking Nina, with pouted lips, Jesse is watching from the couch, laughing.) Oh, yeah, baby... Oh, yeah... Uhum...Ooh… I love you too...
(Giggles.) And then she'd walk back, took her time, no hurry, you know. She had that...big...cute ass! She would move...whoo!
(Moves her hips side to side as she dances away from Jesse.) And then she would, uh... go back to the piano, and play some more. And then she would, uh… I don't know, just...start another song, in the middle of another, you know, like...stop again...like...
(Pretends to talk to someone in the audience.) "Oh, you over there...can you move that fan? Uh-huh. Ohh, you're cute! Oh...Oh, yeah! Uhum.”
“Oh….ohhh, yeah. Mmm hmm. “
(Pouts and continues to dance, then turns and points at Jesse.) “Baby, you are gonna miss…that…plane…”
(The camera zooms in closer to Jesse as he smiles knowingly and laughs at her dancing.)
Jesse: (Holds his left hand up and briefly twirls his wedding ring with his left thumb.) I know...
(Céline continues her dance as the scene fades to black.)
Scene VIII – Closing Credits
“Just in Time” by Nina Simone
Just in time you've found me just in time Before you came my time was running low I was lost the losing dice were tossed My bridges all were crossed nowhere to go Now you hear now I know just where I'm going No more doubt of fear I've found my way For love came just in time you've found me just in time And changed my lonely nights that lucky day
Just in time
Before you came my time was running low oh baby I was lost the losing dice were tossed My bridges all crossed nowhere to go Now you hear now I know just where I'm going No more doubt of fear I've found my way For love came just in time you've found me just in time And changed my lonely nights and changed my lonely nights And changed my lonely nights and changed my lonely nights And changed my lonely nights that lucky day “Je T’aime Tant” by Julie Delpy
Tu me suis tu me souris dans la nuit tu me seduis You follow me You follow me in the night you seduce me
Je sais que tu sais que je ne sais plus qui je suis I know that you know that I no longer know who I am
Je t'aime tant je t'aime tant pourtant I love you so, I love you so, however
Comme le temps qui passe et ment j'attends Like time that passes and I wait
Toujours perdante tu me tourmentes Always the loser, you torment me
Et tes desirs me prirent pour me detruire And your desires take a hold of me to destroy me
Je prends un certain plaisr a souffrir I take a certain pleasure in suffering
A me punir a me repentir At punishing myself, at my repentance
Toujours soumise tu me meprises tu me rejettes tu me maltraites Always subjected, you take a hold of me, you reject me
Douleur et desir sont synonymes de mon plaisir You treat me badly, pain and pleasure are synonym of my pleasure
Je m'abandonne aux hommes sans souci ni tourment I abandon myself to men without worry or torment
Je me suis perdue sans retenue pour un jeune homme I lost myself with abandon to a young man
Un peu hors de la norme A little outside of the the norm
Tu me cherches tu me guettes tu me tiens et je me sens bien You look for me, you watch me, you hold me and I feel good
Tu me prends si lentement je desapprends You take me oh so slowly, I lose myself
Puis tu me rends mon tourment And you bring me back
Je serai ce qui te plait la lumiere sur ta peau I will be whatever pleases you, the light on your skin
Celle qui t'attend a la porte The one who waits at your door
Et celle qui peu importe je serai ce que tu veux The one who.....whatever, I will be what you want
La sueur sur ton front la brise dans tes cheveux The sweat on your brow, the breeze in your hair
Ou celle qui te brisera le cou Or the one that breaks your neck
Je te souris je te nuis je t'aime I smiled at you, I love you so, I love you so
Je te detruis je te tiens et tu viens I destroy you, I hold you and you come
Tout est bien qui finit bien All is well that ends well
Tu sais que je sais que tu ne sais plus qui tu es You know that I know that you don’t know who you are
Depuis que tu t'adonnes a nos petits jeux hors de la norme Since you gave yourself to our little show out of the norm
Je te plais tu me plais You please me, I please you
Nous sommes les amants du tourment We are the lovers of torment
La nuit nous tuons l'ennui l'amour toujours nous suit At night we kill boredom, love always follows us
Toujours l'amour nous fuit l'amour toujours nous detruit Love always escapes us, love always destroys us
Comme la pluie et l'oubli comme des cris dans la nuit Like the rain and forgetting, like the cries in the night
Je t'aime tant je t'aime tant pourtant. I love you so, I love you so, anyway
Name Residence Yahoo ID Contributions Jana Czech Republic jana_janc Transcription Panch Argentina pancho1235 Transcription Sarah Massachusetts, USA sholstallings Transcription Jacques Paris, France jalero75 Paris Locales Kristel California, USA kedp317 French transcription and English Translations JC California, USA stilgar2020 DVD Screenshots (a.k.a. mad scientific experiments with his hard drive) Eddie California, USA edwinpyang FINAL EDITS and everything else
Number Revision Date 1 First release, on the same day that the 2004 Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay was announced! 2005-January-25 2 Revised French translations by Kristel. Improved major/minor edits in Scene VII. Added Scene VIII with song lyrics for “Just in Time” and “Je T’aime Tant.” 2005-February-14 3 New DVD screenshots by JC. 2005-February-19