The Twisty, Twisted, Ultra Low-Budget Debut Of A Director Now Famous For His Massive Blockbusters

The director is Christopher Nolan, and the film is Following. Based on an idea Nolan thought up after his home had been burgled (hence, I suspect, the "twisted") and shot over the course of a year for barely $6,000 (hence, obviously, the "ultra low-budget" claim) by a student of English Literature who never formally studied film (which, I would argue, is where the "twisty because unconventional" comes from), it's an astonishingly confident, competent, and remarkably stylish film And it's on NETFLIX INSTANT.

A claustrophobic neo-noir film about an odd young man who's obsessed with following people.

Because the film is part of the wonderful Criterion Collection', there's a really thoughtful, cleverly-named essay by Scott Foundas -- then of The Film Society of Lincoln Center, now of Amazon Studios -- on their site called "Following: Nolan Begins." This is probably my favorite bit, because it reflects my own thoughts on the film (and its director):

To revisit—or discover—Following today is, at least in part, to marvel at how rapidly Nolan has ascended from these humble beginnings to the very top of the big-studio food chain, and how he has managed to do so without compromising his vision. Indeed, he is an anomalous figure: the creator of cerebral blockbusters that make big demands on audiences’ supposedly modest intelligence and ever-dwindling attention span; a stalwart proponent of celluloid in the digital era; and a rather private figure who keeps the precise details of his biography close to the vest.
Attribution(s): All images and stills are the property of The Criterion Collection and other respective production studios and distributors.