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cast: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell, and John Nolan

director: Christopher Nolan

70 minutes (15) 1999
widescreen ratio 1.66:1
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail
[released 7 July]

RATING: 9/10
reviewed by Debbie Moon
Ever thought about following people? Strangers. Just to see who they are, where they go... Well, don't. Our nameless hero, a would-be writer, decided it would be a perfect way to research characters. And then one day he broke the rules and followed the same person twice, and now he's mixed up in gangland feuds, burglary, attempted murder - and even he doesn't yet understand how deep the deception goes...
   After the storm of well-deserved praise that greeted Nolan's first Hollywood feature, it's good to be able to revisit his low-budget black and white debut. Following is quirkier and less structured than Memento, hurling past and present, action and consequences at us apparently at random. We're left to reassemble the narrative from clues written on the protagonist's body - a haircut or a bruise our only directions. As with all great film noir, we're as much in the dark as the protagonist, and as vulnerable to deception.
   Nolan expects his audience's full attention, but he rewards them amply for their effort. This is crime drama at its best, revelling in the strangeness of places and people, finding sickness and sadness in the most ordinary lives, and selfish cruelty everywhere. An ingenious, haunting film that keeps you permanently off-balance right to the final twist - and hopefully, the first of many such masterpieces.
   DVD extras: director's commentary, 2nd angles with shooting script, option to play film's chapters chronologically, original trailer.
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