See This: Following

Jeremy Theobald in Christopher Nolan's debut, Following
Jeremy Theobald in Christopher Nolan's debut, Following



Can you honestly tell from Following, that its first-time director Christopher Nolan is only two years away from making Memento, the film that put him on Hollywood producers’ speed-dials? Shot on weekends and holidays guerrilla-style around London for about $6,000, it is a real “you saw it here first” effort and the acting is strongly redolent of the great days of British film – it’s rank.

But when a story is this strong it barely matters. It’s simple too. We follow, in low-budget monochrome, a young, luckless and broke writer (Jeremy Theobald) who thinks it would be fun, “creative” in an artschool way, maybe, to “follow” people and see where it leads him. Immediately, he meets a very odd sort of burglar, one who steals for ideological reasons, not profit. And soon, as in all the best films, our hero’s in it right up to the armpits while the viewer is straining to work out what the hell is going on. It is great fun. It is also, if squinted at from a certain angle, full of the themes and ideas that Nolan would rework again in Memento, still his best film, if we can shut out the noise from comic corner. Talking of which Theobald does turn up in Nolan’s Batman Begins – aka The Bats, The Bats – that’s him as Young Gotham Water Board Technician.

© Steve Morrissey 2013


Following – at Amazon




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Following (1998) Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 69min | 5 November 1999 (UK) 7.5
Director: Christopher NolanWriter: Christopher NolanStars: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy RussellSummary: An older man listens to Bill's story about being a callow writer who likes to follow strangers around London, observing them. One day, a glib and self-confident man whom Bill has been following confronts him. He's Cobb, a burglar who takes Bill under his wing and shows him how to break and enter. They burgle a woman's flat; Bill gets intrigued with her (photographs are everywhere in her flat). He follows her and chats her up at a bar owned by her ex-boyfriend, a nasty piece of work who killed someone in her living room with a hammer. Soon Bill is volunteering to do her a favor, which involves a break-in. What does the older man know that Bill doesn't? Written by <>


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