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Christopher Nolan, 1998
UK | Format: 35mm | 70 minutes
Extended run! Newly-restored 35mm print!
Shot piecemeal over the course of a year, on black-and-white 16mm film stock, for a total reported cost of $6,000, Nolan’s dazzling debut feature finds the young filmmaker already in full command of his craft, playing with time, memory and the liquid nature of identity. A young aspiring writer (known only as “The Young Man”) takes to anonymously “shadowing” people on the streets of London in the hope of vicariously entering their lives and gaining writerly inspiration—until one of his subjects catches him in the act. The followed man, whose name is Cobb (the same name later bestowed on Leonardo Di Caprio’s character in Inception), is a gentleman thief of sorts, who robs people’s apartments not for the loot (so he claims) but to jar them out of their consumerist complacency. He invites The Young Man to come along for the ride, and in doing so springs an ingeniously constructed trap involving a beautiful blonde woman (known only as “The Blonde”) who may be more femme fatale than damsel in distress. Divided into five different time periods that gradually come together like an elaborate cinematic jigsaw, the rarely screened, diabolically clever Following returns here in a newly restored 35mm print supervised by Nolan himself.