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
This film and his follow-up Memento (2000) are, as of 2018, the only films Christopher Nolan has directed that weren't produced by Warner Bros. See more »
In one shot, when Cobb puts the gloves in the young man's mouth it is half sticking out but in the next scene it is almost completely in the young man's mouth. 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 Criterion Collection DVD features an additional "Chronological Edit" of the film, which places the scenes in linear order. See more »
Great film. No gratuitous gimmicks like in most Hollywood films. Everything supported the suspense of the plot. B&w gave it a basic, no-frills feel also. In short, it was visceral in its simplicity of cinematography and cast.
Following serves as an interesting contrast to Memento. Characters in both used manipulation and subterfuge extensively. In that sense, both reminded me somewhat of "In the Company of Men," also highly recommendable. One difference between Nolan's two films is that Memento was a little easier for me to follow, given that the b&w scenes progress in a constant chronological direction, and so do those in color. I don't think that was true of Following, where scenes seemed to be shown at random. If you have the choice between VCR and DVD, I'd highly recommend DVD, since that gives you the option of watching the movie a second time in chronological order, not just in the scrambled (albeit ingenuous) order presented by Nolan. It also makes it easier, upon a second viewing, to piece the order together for yourself, if you want to.
As another viewer noted, one of the best things about both this movie and Memento is that none of the cast were famous. They were characters, not big-name actors who brought in personas developed in other movies.
Given certain similarities in the plots, I wonder if Memento is sort of a remake of Following, but intended to reach a bigger audience, like Edward Burns made She's the One in the mold of -- and with largely the same cast as -- The Brothers McMullan.
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