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Jeremy Theobald , Alex Haw , Christopher Nolan    DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 34.70
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An unemployed aspiring "writer" Bill (Jeremy Theobald) has a peculiar hobby, shadowing strangers at random in the streets of London. When Cobb (Alex Haw), a man Bill has been following, catches him in the act, Bill is drawn into Cobb's world of breaking into flats and prying into the personal lives of their victims. In Bob, Bill finds a strange companion - part mentor, part confessor and part evil twin. With an ingenious structure that involves flash forwards and doubling back, the film tests our knowledge and understanding just as the protagonist is being duped into an elaborate triple-cross. "Following" heralded Christopher Nolan as a promising new talent whose promise was amply confirmed with "Memento."


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

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and Compelling May 14 2002
By kamus
Christopher Nolan puts Hollywood to shame with this no-budget film. Proving that good scripts, good directors and good actors are the key ingredients that constitute good movies, not swollen budgets, big "stars" or special effects Nolan has created a very compelling film indeed. Although it's a no budget affair, it sure doesn't feel like it. The B&W treatment feels like a natural complement to the gritty story and turns a potential limitation into an asset- it actually has a real artistic visual style. The performances are first rate as well, but what really floats this movie is the terrific script that will draw you in and keep you in suspense right up until the last frame. Then you'll want to see it again immediately. How many movies do you have that reaction to? The non-chronological narrative is dealt with masterfully and gives an already intriguing story a further dimension. An added bonus is Nolan's astute commentary and the alternate angle view of the shooting script, both wonderful resources for the aspiring filmmaker but fascinating for the rest of us too.
I saw this film accidentally because I grabbed the box too hastily from the video store, but boy am I glad I did!
Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This movie has style! Feb. 5 2004
I, as probably many other people, got this movie after I watched "Memento", the second movie by the same director, Christopher Nolan, which I liked very much. I liked his first one too, although probably the comparison with his follow up Hollywood production makes 'Following' even more interesting. It is low budget independent movie in noir style that is shot in black and white. The style of the movie reminds me old french crime movies although it adds the twists so familiar to us from 'Memento': the order of the movie doesn't follow the real order so you see different pieces in different times trying to recreate what really happened. The plot itself, although unpredictable (the ending is totally surprising) not really convincing and logical. But it's ok since, in my opinion, the main quality of this movie is its style. The acting is adequate. All in all although not groundbreaking it is interesting especially as prequel to 'Following'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars noir at its noirest Jan. 1 2004
christopher nolan really knows bleak cinema. momento and this piece of neo-noir are both extremely hopeless pictures. momento is about the absence of forward consciousness (thus no point to exist because the cost of post-its would be crushing) and following is about a voyeuristic writer whom when bored decides to follow characters (heh...). imagine a world of a constant cliche, void of everything inspiring. bitterness. nolan's neo-noir work here is gloom and doom. the black and white photography only add to the mundane bleakness of constantly looking for something interesting in a world of busy bees...simply look on the cover to verify this (the voyeur is watching his subjects file past in the opposite direction). he can't offer them anything save the ability to play with them, label them, to his own advantage. that said, is this a movie for everyone? no...it ain't. the anti-hero's story caters to about 1, maybe 2, percent of the population. the cinematography is interesting but the lighting and quality is sometimes too dark, unlike another neo-noir b&w recent film, the man who wasn't there. but i really enjoy noir, and nolan's work, though i sometimes think momento, though having one of the greatest screenplays in recent memory, is lackluster as a whole (justifiable by its great commercial success and a nagging feeling i get watching it). following is worth the price and it is very interesting to see what the director did before the larger budgeted momento.
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From the director of Momento, FOLLOWING is a gritty, low-budget tale of one man's obsession of following strangers. Bill is an unemployed, aspiring writer who substitutes the dullness in his own life by following strangers walking down the street. His plans, however, take an unexpected turn when he follows a man who confronts him for shadowing him. Soon Bill realizes that this reluctant 'subject', Cobb, also participates in voyeuristic activities of breaking into apartments and rummaging through their belongings. Cobb leads Bill down a path that will forever change him, and one that he cannot return from. In a similar fashion as Momento, FOLLOWING is filmed in non-chronological order and includes many plots twists and turns along the way. Once the audience believes they know what is going on, the tables are turned on them once again. This film has a similar feel as Momento and even contains a comparable narrator. Also included on this DVD are several special features that further enhance the viewing experience, such as an alternate version of the film shown in chronological order and a version shot from a different camera angle. FOLLOWING is a film that leaves a residue of creepiness on the audience that is difficult to shake off. If you enjoyed Momento, then you will also like FOLLOWING. Recommended.
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As the film debut of Christopher Nolan, Following showed serious promise. While not perfect, its manipulation of time and use of the film noir genre is admirable and proved to be the precursor to his first widely released and superior Memento.
Following is about a man with the habit of following strangers, and what happens when one of them turns out to be a follower himself. The film cleverly mixes up time, showing scenes out of order to raise questions to what later happens to the follower. At the beginning, he's long haired and unshaven, but in other scenes he's cleaned up and others he's bruised and beaten up. It's a wonderful technique to keep the audience involved in the film. We know he must get into some serious trouble, but we don't know what or why. The film's black and white photography, while likely chosen more for its inexpensive trait, complements the film noir aspects of the storyline.
However, mostly due to the small budget, the acting isn't too great. Only the thief character named Cobb whom the follower gets involved with is convincing in his role. Everyone else feels like a B-movie actor, and not very good ones at that. But another downfall of this film isn't much a fault of its own. Nolan's later film Memento tells another noir story in a very similar style, but with amazing fashion (telling the story completely backwards) and a story arc (A man with a memory disorder after his wife was murdered) that far outshines Following's smaller ideas. Here it seems he was just beginning to toy with time and scene order in film, so he'd really get it right in Memento.
Overall, Following is a decent little flick that is better rented before being purchased. Fans of Memento may find it especially interesting to see how the director began shifting time and scenes around in preparation for his later mind bender, but the average film viewer might want to skip it and check out the superior Memento instead.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Atom Gauthier
5.0 out of 5 stars Nolan's first is great
A very special movie, unique, that sets the tone and signature of that now reknowned filmmaker. Criterion makes sure we get the best PQ and AQ along with great features such as a... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mathieu N.
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine debut from one of the best directors working today
Are you a fan of Christopher Nolan? His impressive filmography includes Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception, and The Dark Knight Rises. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Steven Aldersley
5.0 out of 5 stars great psycholigical thriller
fabulous dialogue, great cinematography...great actors..i was amazed at how flippantly ones life could be sussed out. i loved memento , but i loved this even better.. Read more
Published on April 8 2004 by Yumi
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor man's Memento
Year 2000 saw the suspense thriller MEMENTO starring Guy Pearce, wherein the uniqueness of the script resides in the fact that the plot unfolds from the end and proceeds backwards. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004 by Joseph Haschka
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked twist!
This movie is a fantastic work in virtually every respect. The story is involving, the B&W atmosphere sets the right mood (obviously due to a very low budget, but it works well... Read more
Published on July 17 2003 by Ian Johnston
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked twist!
This movie is a fantastic work in virtually every respect. The story is involving, the B&W atmosphere sets the right mood (obviously due to a very low budget, but it works well... Read more
Published on July 17 2003 by Ian Johnston
3.0 out of 5 stars didn't achieve what it could of
This was Christopher Nolan's movie before "Memento." We can see why Miramax gave a chance on such a new unknown director. There are a lot of similarities between the two. Read more
Published on March 12 2003 by Beth
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like Memento . . . see this too
You can really see how this was the precursor to MEMENTO in that he uses the same device of telling the movie out of sequence and gives you the surprise ending. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2003 by "johntchance"
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