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FOLLOWING

UK, 1999 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Bob, an unassuming, unemployed writer, has an obsession: he enjoys shadowing people, hence the film's title. When one of his sorties finds him trailing a highly skilled burglar, Cobb, Bill is sprung and then taken under the wing of a strange individual, part mentor, part confessor, part evil twin, who leads him into a dark underworld.

Christopher Nolan's debut was made on a shoe­string (rumoured to be less than £4000) with a cast of first time actors. The director has overcome any limitations his budget may have presented to craft a film of intense scheming and deception. Bill's creepy habit leads him into peril when he is seduced into exploring deeper intrigues as he develops a rapport with the cool, confi­dent but exceedingly shady Cobb.

An Hitchcockian meditation on voyeurism and an examination of the lure of evil, Following illustrates how greed, lust and loneliness can conspire to force an individual into actions they would never have considered themselves capable of. With an ingenious structure that involves flashes lorward and doubling back, the film tests and teases the audience's knowledge and understanding of events just as it leads the unlikely hero into deeper waters. Winner of numerous awards at Toronto, Hong Kong and San Francisco Film Festivals, and the Tiger Award at Rotterdam.

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