"Memento" gets most—if not all—of the credit as the starting point for the Christopher Nolan we know today. Sure, the story of Leonard Shelby and his backwards chase to find his wife's killer catapulted Nolan into the realm of the indie darling, but his first film, "Following," marks the real beginning of the man who would bring us the Batman
Since Criterion announced yesterday that they plan to bring "The Following" to Blu-ray in their typical, decked-out style and it's also readily available on Netflix Instant Watch, now is a good a time as any to take a look back.
"Following" tells the story of a nameless young man, played by Jeremy Theobald, who isn't cutting it as a writer, but eventually finds himself under the wing of a charismatic thief, Cobb, a name that would appear later in "Inception."
From there the story grows more complicated, of course, but that isn't the only thing "Following" shares with the rest of Nolan's films. As a stripped down look at the kind of storytelling Nolan enjoys and excels at, "Following" can put his signature elements in the foreground for all to see, not obscured by high concepts like dream heists and superheroes. Nolan has always drifted toward the crime genre and its thievish heroes, and "Following" is no exception.
Like the rest of Nolan's films, it's never a good idea to hand over too much trust to any given character, since they tend to hide more than they show and the director has always looked to Hitchcock for more twisted aspects to character psychology.
At just 70 minutes long, "Following" makes for a quick watch and one that provides an interesting look at the humble beginnings of one of today's biggest directors.
Let us know what you think of "Following"? Share your thoughts in the comments below and on Twitter!