Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Following Christopher Nolan

Alone in a Crowd

I watched Following by Christopher Nolan last night. A friend of mine is a fan of Nolan and he bought the DVD with me a few weeks ago, but waited to watch it until we could do it together.

Anyways, the movie is about 70 minutes long and is actually pretty well put together. For anyone who knows how Memento is structured, Nolan likes to use non-linear storytelling, but unlike many other filmmakers, he knows how to do it and do it well.

Following tells the story of a guy who has too much time on his hands, a voyeuristic nature and develops an interest in following people around (hence the name of the picture). He gets tangled up in a web (a small web, but a web nonetheless) of noirish intrigue, femme fatales and dangerous customers, and learns a thing or two about trust, compulsion and what we, as people, are capable of if pressed into a compromising situation.

It was a fun ride and Nolan never bored me with truly dull characters, nor did he try and hide his shortcomings by using flashy visuals or composition. It's all right there in front of you, like it or leave it.

I found the movie a bit inspiring, to be perfectly honest. As I've mentioned before, I've dabbled with no budget filmmaking and am cruising to try it again, and Following, in it's simplicity, kind of made me rethink the doubts I've been having about getting behind the camera again, or putting pen to paper.

It's not the amount of money you have, it's the caliber of poeple you're working with, the behind the scenes planning, scheduling and solid execution of it that makes it, not only worth doing, but a good film period.

I'm not trying to say that I'm as good as Chris Nolan, or that I'll be the next guy in line to do Batman Begins Again, but he's an economical filmmaker who's all about the storytelling, not just making pretty pictures. And if it works for him, I may have a snowballs chance in hell.


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