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Christopher Nolan (1970 - )

Related: British cinema - film director

Following (1998) - Christopher Nolan
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Creepy intimacy, plenty of suspense, and a few surprises enliven this black-and-white treat from the director of Memento. Bill is a struggling writer who fills his time and mind by following random strangers he sees on the street. After breaking his own rule ("never follow the same person twice") he becomes fascinated by Cobb, a voyeur who takes things one step further--actually breaking into people's homes to sift through their things. As you might expect, the relationship soon becomes unhealthy. Writer-director Christopher Nolan already reveals a sure hand in this early neo-noir work. Like Memento, Following toys with timelines, jumping back and forth and carefully dropping bits of information exactly when they're needed. Short and sharp, Following features an intriguing plot line and fine, understated performances by the entire cast. Don't miss it. --Ali Davis for amazon.com


Christopher Nolan (born July 30, 1970) is a British film director, writer and producer. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Nolan [Mar 2005]

Following (1998) - Christopher Nolan

In a time long ago when a Wim Wenders film created a sense of anticipation, some may recall the subtle playfulness of The American Friend (1977), which celebrated within its Patricia Highsmith murder plot the cinematic double entendres of 'framing' and 'set up'. A comparable spirit of gamesmanship permeates Christopher Nolan's remarkable debut film which, like Wenders' movie, occupies a precarious no-man's land between popular thriller and art film. Nolan may have drawn inspiration from performance artist Sophie Calle's infamous shadowing of strangers, or even her fictive equivalent in Paul Auster's novel Leviathan. But it's just a starting point for his own exhilarating maze of games and deceptions which keeps the spectator guessing throughout Following's relatively brief running time. Nolan keenly exploits cinema's narrative potential, busily flipping scenes so actions teasingly precede exposition in a way that hasn't been seen here since Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing (1980). --David Thompson, December 1999 issue of Sight and Sound.

Memento (2000) - Christopher Nolan

  • Memento (2000) - Christopher Nolan [Amazon.com]
    Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential) and Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) shine in this absolute stunner of a movie. Memento combines a bold, mind-bending script with compelling action and virtuoso performances. Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, hunting down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The problem is that "the incident" that robbed Leonard of his wife also stole his ability to make new memories. Unable to retain a location, a face, or a new clue on his own, Leonard continues his search with the help of notes, Polaroids, and even homemade tattoos for vital information.

    Because of his condition, Leonard essentially lives his life in short, present-tense segments, with no clear idea of what's just happened to him. That's where Memento gets really interesting; the story begins at the end, and the movie jumps backward in 10-minute segments. The suspense of the movie lies not in discovering what happens, but in finding out why it happened. Amazingly, the movie achieves edge-of-your-seat excitement even as it moves backward in time, and it keeps the mind hopping as cause and effect are pieced together.

    Pearce captures Leonard perfectly, conveying both the tragic romance of his quest and his wry humor in dealing with his condition. He is bolstered by several excellent supporting players, and the movie is all but stolen from him by Pantoliano, who delivers an amazing performance as Teddy, the guy who may or may not be on his side. Memento has an intriguing structure and even meditations on the nature of perception and meaning of life if you go looking for them, but it also functions just as well as a completely absorbing thriller. It's rare to find a movie this exciting with so much intelligence behind it. --Ali Davis for amazon.com

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