A stripped back neo-noir thriller that also serves as a magnificent archetype for almost all of Nolan's filmography from there onward. You can really see Nolan's strengths as a visual storyteller, constantly mapping out these little visual cues that form themselves into larger a picture with time, giving new meaning to the past and bracing us for the inevitability of the future, already written out in celluloid.
Made for less than 10k, this movie really has no right to be as amazing as it is. Great pacing, clever editing that Nolan would use again on some of his bigger features, and a script with multiple timelines which interweave beautifully. A must see for film students and really anyone with a love of the cinema. This is what its all about. 4.5 stars, an incredible early entry from Nolan.
It doesn't blow you out of your seat, but it certainly displays a lot of talent to come. Some great storytelling mixed with smart camerawork. The movie plays a little like a Hitchcock film. Actually, that's all I could think of while I was watching it. Yeah, I could definitely pick out a lot of Hitchcockian influences in this one. It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but a solid first film indeed.
This film, almost as much as any other - remains in memory. A haunting thriller that leads the viewer down a path of crime, deception, and betrayal. An urban nightmare that begins with simple actions, stripped from their chronologicial order - .." our eyes pass over the crowd, and if we let them settle on a person, then that person becomes an individual ", carries us to the edge by way of crime and a cool blonde.
This film is an artful story full of appropriately devious twists and turns which delve into the combined individual and general populations obsession with both privacy and our equally voracious need for exposure; topped off by an ending that leaves the viewer with the anxious feeling that this could happen to them.
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!
This film (along with Memento and Insomnia) shows Nolan could've been generation X/Y/Z's Hitchcock, if he hadn't morphed into a deeper Spielberg/Lucas...playing with Tarentino's pop use of the chronological headf*ck, he crafts a semi-classic slice of nihilism and noir out of a low, low budget...watch who you're watching! Bonus: check out the Batman emblem on the door late in the movie...portent of things to come...
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.