An older man listens to Bill's story about being a callow writer who likes to follow strangers around London, observing them. One day, a glib and self-confident man whom Bill has been following confronts him. He's Cobb, a burglar who takes Bill under his wing and shows him how to break and enter. They burgle a woman's flat; Bill gets intrigued with her (photographs are everywhere in her flat). He follows her and chats her up at a bar owned by her ex-boyfriend, a nasty piece of work who killed someone in her living room with a hammer. Soon Bill is volunteering to do her a favor, which involves a break-in. What does the older man know that Bill doesn't?Written by
The Young Man's flat has a triple postcard depicting Jack Nicholson as Mr. Lloyd in The Shining's famous "Here's Johnny" scene, on his wall. That character's son is Danny Lloyd. See more »
During the safe robbery, Bill is clearly shown wearing gloves, most noticeably when he pulls the paper with the combination from his pocket. However, as he starts to open the safe, the gloves are gone and they never reappear. See more »
The following is my explanation. Well, more of an account of what happened. I'd been on my own for a while and getting kind of lonely... and bored... nothing to do all day. And that's when I started shadowing.
Shadowing - Following. I started to follow people
Anyone at first. Um,
you know, that was the whole point - somebody at random, someone who didn't know who I was.
And then nothing.
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The movie was filmed from 1996 to 1997 and first released in 1998. However, the copyright date in the credits is listed as being 1999. See more »
The Criterion Collection DVD features an additional "Chronological Edit" of the film, which places the scenes in linear order. See more »
Christopher Nolan's first feature film wowed critics who saw it when it first came out. Shot on a micro budget of $6,000 this is a student film with real class. The film is shot in black and white, and features people who you assume are friends of Nolan's appearing in the movie. This is not to say they are bad actors because they are quite good. You could see Jeremy Theobald and Alex Haw appearing in other projects but unfortunately they haven't since this was made 6 years ago.
Nolan's thriller, much like Memento, does not play chronologically, it shifts the scenes around much like Pulp Fiction. The writing is fantastic. It is a great twisting thriller but because the temporal order of the film is shifted around it makes it even more interesting. I thought the last ten minutes in particular when everything starts to become clear were excellent.
For a film of such a small budget and with no recognizable names at all, this is so good. It is superior to most that Hollywood studios offer and Nolan after three films (this, the superior Memento and the not quite as good but still excellent Insomnia) has cemented himself as the most exciting new talent of recent times. I can't wait for Batman.
This film is short and sweet and certainly a great watch. It is very professional and the twists are fantastic and completely surprising. I also thought that the score from David Julyan was also excellent, very atmospheric and had a chilly quality to it. He has gone on to compose Nolan's other films.
Overall I would recommend this, I intend to get all of Nolan's films. This is a low budget gem. *****
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