DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan’s début…
Whether it is considered to be a cult classic or more likely then forgotten début movie of Christopher Nolan, this 1999 feature, though only clocking in at just 70 minutes is Nolan at his best. A small British noir thriller, told none-chronologically, though not with the narrative reasoning behind the masterpiece that is Nolan’s first real hit the following year, Memento, where the none linear story structure is designed around a man with short term memory loss, this is a complex thriller which is made more so by the method of its story telling.
But like most of Nolan’s films, as long as you pay attention, it is very understandable and should not be confusing. The story is a simple one: A voyeuristic tale of a man who fancies himself to be writer who finds satisfaction in people watching but is soon entangling in the world and the people of whcih he has watched from a far.
The twists and turns come thick and fast and the ending is probably quite predictable but if you like Christopher Nolan’s style as I do, then this opening foray in the motion picture industry will not disappoint. And this is a example where the “cheap”, student techniques used here compliment the film perfectly. Shot in black and white on 16mm with a mono optical sound track in the first instance, though it has since been upgraded to stereo and 5.1 in subsequent DVD/Blu-ray releases, this is an expertly made film, relying on “in the can” film making techniques and editing, as well as some simple, down to earth performances from the unknown cast.
Nolan would go on over the next decade and half to become one of cinemas greatest directors, an auteur with blockbuster credentials but this early work, one which is not easy to find and excluded from his collections on DVD and Blu-ray, which always start with Memento (2000) Following did not disappoint. If you love Nolan, seek out this film. You will no doubt feel the same way as I. A real gem.
And how can I not mention the Batman logo on “the young man’s” flat door… Fate?