A London Noir
♦Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk comes out in cinemas next Friday 21 July and so we at Tripwire have decided to rewatch and assess the eight films he has released prior to this just like we did with Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Bros. First up is Following, Nolan’s debut, which was released back in 1998
Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell
Following, Nolan’s debut, apparently cost around $6000 to make so considering the minute budget, it is a pretty impressive film. Every director has to start somewhere and this simple tale of a man ,a struggling writer, who follows people around the streets of London supposedly to get inspiration for his writing but he obviously has darker and more sinister motives, is a worthy debut effort for Nolan. Obviously everything is very stripped back and very lo fi but you can see the seeds of the director’s style. This is a noir story, a genre that Nolan has returned to on a number of occasions especially early on in his career and he is drawn to the seedier side of life because it gives him the opportunity to explore the darker sides of human nature.
The cast are pretty good especially Theobald and Haw as the thief who takes the writer under his wing. Following is a student film but you can already see much of Nolan’s style beginning to crystallise. I admit that I hadn’t seen it until I had just decided to watch his films in order in the run-up to the release of Dunkirk and I am glad I did. Shot in black and white, fans of his later work should check it out to see how his career began. Following is a confident and assured debut with plenty of food for thought for the viewer and it foreshadows many of the themes and obsessions that Nolan returns to during his career.