Everything Everywhere All At Once Directors Name The Criterion Collection Movies That Inspired Them

Daniel Scheinert was quick to show off the Criterion Collection’s “Before” trilogy box set, a collection of Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” (1995), “Before Sunset” (2004), and “Before Midnight” (2013). Each of these three films follows an extended conversation between Céline (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) at different points in their lives. In 1995, they are both students traveling abroad and bond romantically while wandering the streets of Vienna. In 2004, they reunite after he wrote a book about their experience nine years before and talk about how they may or may not rekindle their romance. In 2013, they have been married for years, but their relationship isn’t so rosy. Their conversations are about how they may be finally getting on each other’s nerves. Scheinert confesses that he watched the films with his own partner, and it instigated a life-changing conversation about the state of their relationship. 

He also admits that “Midnight” might be his favorite. Dan Kwan prefers “Sunset.” Scheinert once arranged a personal film festival wherein he and his friends watched each film at their respective eponymous time of the day. 

Kwan, meanwhile, pointed out another Criterion box set containing the first two “Police Story” movies, directed by and starring Jackie Chan. The films are energetically violent, and Chan’s cop character gets into trouble for his extreme practices. Kwan says the films are personal to him, and he and his family would watch them together and bond over cinema. He was, he admits, far too young to be watching films as violent as “Police Story.” 

“Everything Everywhere” is, if it is any one genre, a kung-fu film. Kwan says the influence should be clear. 

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