Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Netflix Stream This, Bitch!

     Before Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, before Memento and Insomnia,  Brit Christopher Nolan directed this small little film about stalking and voyeurism on the streets of London. The film can be seen as a good precursor to Memento in the sense that it follows a non-linear story structure and has abnormal characters with interesting motivations. 
     To presumably find inspiration for a new novel, a young man begins following and studying certain people throughout the main roads and back allies of a dreary and dank London environment. At first, the man has a certain set of rules that he follows when following strangers to not get too obsessed or sucked into something dangerous. He immediately finds an interesting man in a suit and begins following him. However, things are not what they seem: the man in the suit confronts and introduces himself to the young man, letting the young man know that he is a serial burglar; he also wants to know if the young man wants to take the following a step further into people's homes and apartments. What "follows" is a story with a wonderful existentialist look at what the things people own really mean, along with blackmail, betrayal and murder. 
     Like all of Christopher Nolan's films, there is a never a dull moment. Everyone should see the early work of one of today's most talented and entertaining directors. It was written, directed, filmed and co-produced by him. One would think that a low budget black and white film shot on a 16mm camera on the streets of London with a minimal cast would be an easy job; however, that wasn't the case. Nolan referred to the shoot as "extreme" and it took nearly a year to finish...long for any movie. Part of why this is true deals with the complicated nature of the film. The scenes fit together like a tangled web of peeping tom visions and various back stabbing. Although it doesn't reach the brilliant greatness of Memento, the movie, like an entertaining jigsaw puzzle, is a great way to spend 70 minutes.

80% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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