Bill is an unemployed writer who has lately taken to following strangers at random on the street. One day, Cobb, a man Bill has been following, catches him in the act. Cobb reveals he has a transgressive daily routine of his own: he is a burgler. He invites Bill to join him.
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Impressive for its budget (only 6 thousand dollars), loved every character and the non-straight-forward editing style. Nolan's debut set the bar high for a generation on how to start your filmography even when encountered with all the limitations possible in your way. Bravo!
The twisty continuity plus the film noir throwback made this far more enjoyable than I expected. As the first Nolan effort, you can see him sharpening his tools. Chris, make more neo noir. You're good at it.
It's quite obvious from those days in 1998 that Christopher Nolan will become a big shot. In a low budget, he has shot a great script with wonderful acting and a style. One of the finest mystery, crime films I've ever watched and in a sense, it is a little bit "film-noir"ish.
Filmed with a crew of just himself (also responsible for the cinematography), the sound mixer, and two actors at any given point. I'm impressed with the discipline it must have taken Nolan & co. to stay committed to a project made on no budget, one day a week, for over a year. Everyone had to contend with their full-time jobs. I wish Nolan would go back to his indie, intimate thriller roots. This is a rare gem.
Aside from a-star studded cast, everything you would expect from a Christopher Nolan film is here. The subject matter and non-linear structure instantly engages and muddles with your mind. For a film that was made on a shoestring budget Nolan has done a remarkable job, using natural lighting and whatever locations he could get his hands on, to create a gritty and intricate neo-noir.
Even as he got launched to IMDb idolatry, Nolan has always been best as a sleight-of-hand artist. The philosophy of his films is either simple or muddled, but ask him to play with structure or aesthetics—and think only just hard enough—and he can hit close to home. This truly inspired $5,000 debut is still emblematic of his skills, a rewiring of classic noir to that late-90s trend where reality itself was in doubt.
The story behind this essentially budgetless labor of love is an inspiration in itself. Here is living proof that multimilliondollar price tags aren't what bring people to the movies -- damn good stories do. Nolan solved technical shortcomings with clever editing, and in the process developed a rhythmic inter-cutting style he'd never abandon on bigger features. A seminal title, worthy of study for film students.