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Christopher Nolan

Following * Christopher Nolan * 1998

It has been a while since I saw this one, but recently it was shown on TV and why not write a review about this wonderfull film? “Following” is made my Christopher Nolan who also made the brilliant “Memento”. It made earlier and this is quite clear, since it is a bit more primitive and not as brilliant.

Anyway, “Following” is still a wonderfull film. It is about a guy (Jeremy Theobald) who starts to follow people out of boredom and to form characters for his writings. When he started to follow Cobb (Alex Haw) this last immediately saw him through and starts a conversation. Cobb turns out to be a burglar, mostly for fun. Going through people’s personal things and trying to make them feel uncomfortable. The two men are going to brake into places together, but “the young man” falls back into his old habbit of following people and eventually he gets involved with a woman who’s house they broke in.
That is as much of the story that I will tell, otherwise there is no use in seeing it anymore. Just as with “Memento” it is best to not know much about the story when you see it.

The film is shot in black and white and totally cut-up and the scenes reassembled all the way through eachother. Therefor you will have different scenes from every possible time in the story, slowly being able to understand/see what the story really it. Of course this is done a lot nowadays, but in 1998 it was still quite original. The way of filming, acting, stages, etc. are all quite minimal which adds to the atmosphere of the film.

“Following” sure isn’t a “Memento” yet, but a good step on the way.

The Prestige * Christopher Nolan * 2006

“From the creators of Memento”. I have to admit, I fell for the tagline. “The Prestige” doesn’t have much in common with the masterpiece of six years ago though. “The Prestige” is about two students of an illusionist who become bitter rivals trying to ruin each others careers. When one invents a top trick, the other wants to learn the secret. In the proces the story moves a bit towards the Serbian scientist of electricity, Nikola Tesla (David Bowie). The film is rather standard, it plays in the present and is shown in flash-backs. The story doesn’t really raise questions, but towards the end a puzzle is given when is it solved (!). “The Prestige” has a nice atmosphere of 19th century London though, great stages and good acting (I especially liked Christian Bale as one of the illusionists). Considering all, “The Prestige” is really just another Hollywood production, nothing special.