FollowingMeant to have blogged about this 4 months ago, but anyway never too late. Before Christopher Nolan shot to fame with Memento (when they do a retrospective of his films sometime in the future, this film will be very apt!), he made a short, experimental film called Following. Quite frankly, it was one of the most outstanding films I've ever seen. I would go as far as to say that I found it better than Memento, because the plot was more plausible and the film is awesome given the constraints.
Following sees Nolan making his feature debut and immediately applying his soon-to-become trademark non-linear screenplay writing skills to the project. The film was shot under a "no-budget" i.e. the makers (Nolan with friends & family) shooting guerilla-style on the streets, in homes of well-wishers (as the DVD commentary revealed, sometimes even two different locations in the film are actually set in the same house) and in black and white in London, establishing a very noir feel. The film is jusy 70 minutes, but never once is the lack of length an issue. The cast is small, and hardly anyone from it is still acting professionally in films. Nolan was the only one to make it big, but let not this turn of events indicate that the actors are a bunch of simpleton amateurs. The performances were all excellent. The twists in the plot are sudden hairpin binds, so enjoy them.
I had even more fun watching the movie accompanied by Nolan's remarks and then using the option of watching the film scenes in chronological order. In light of his first two attempts, Insomnia was such a disappointment. I don't know where else anyone can get hold of Following considering it was such a low key, summer-project-like, British indie move, but Pune's British Library has a copy of the DVD. I couldn't find a single full-length review of the film on the web, suggesting the film was hardly a mainstream release.
Hopefully the next Batman movie should restore our faith in Nolan's immense abilities beyond the novelties of screenplay structure. To end with the appropriate pun, a career worth following.
[Update] Harish rightly points out that I must credit him with finding the DVD. However, that would also mean revealing the slightly embarassing truth that he was going to return it without watching it and it was I who (with some backing from George) who gave the underdog a shot. So much for talent spotting, eh Harish ;-)