Time: 69 Minutes
Jeremy Theobald as The Young Man
Alex Haw as Cobb
Lucy Russell as The Blonde
John Nolan as The Policeman
Director: Christopher Nolan
A young writer living in London follows people in the hope of using their lives in his novels, but the hobby becomes an obsession and he soon finds himself going further than intended.
Although Memento was the movie that marked Christopher Nolan as a director to watch, Following was actually his first film. I’ve seen all of Nolan’s other films and as I’m a big fan of his, I decided go out to look for it. While it’s not great, you can still see glimpses of his talent shine in through, and it’s a decent first movie from him. However, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to people unless they are big fans of Nolan.
Following is a neo noir movie, with a mystery plot with many twists and turns. It’s not really anything that you haven’t seen before, but it’s got an intriguing enough plot to keep you interested throughout. It’s not nearly as intriguing and riveting as his other movies, but the simplicity of the movie towards its benefit. Following is quite a short movie, at 70 minutes long, which was honestly the perfect length for this plot and movie.
There isn’t much to say about the cast, there was really only 3 of them who were noteworthy, with Jeremy Theobald as the lead and Alex Haw and Lucy Russell as the supporting actors. They weren’t anything great and are overall just sort of serviceable. They are probably the weakest part of the movie honestly, but they play their roles okay enough for what was required of them.
This is Christopher Nolan’s first movie and the budget is only $6,000, and you can feel it throughout. The film is shot in black and white and on 16mm film stock, the locations are limited, the lighting was natural due to the inability to afford professional lighting equipment, and as previously mentioned, the runtime is really short. Christopher Nolan still is clearly finding his way at this point, he really only started to succeed after making Memento. As a first time student film however, Following is still a pretty well directed movie. Even the black and white colour was fitting for the movie, giving it a much more noire look to it, which is fitting given the tone and genre of the film. Even with the limitations that he has filming this, he still manages to add quite a lot to the movie with his solid direction.
Following honestly wasn’t a particularly special movie on its own. It’s low budget, the cast is amateurish, the plot is pretty familiar to that of other noire and mystery movies and all that, however Nolan still does some pretty good work here all things considering. I’d say that if you are a big Christopher Nolan fan, it’s worth seeking out this movie. It’s only just over an hour long so if you’re curious, definitely check it out at least.