Famed director Christopher Nolan’s directorial breakthrough, Following ($32), has just been inducted into the Criterion Collection, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch it. The 16mm black and white film, re-released by Criterion on special edition Blu-ray, is about a voyeuristic novelist who follows strangers on the streets of London, searching for a muse. We’ve all been there, right? After unwittingly trailing a bad guy, though, the protagonist falls down a twisted, noir-esque rabbit hole right into the criminal underworld.
Appropriately enough, much of Following was shot guerilla-style, meaning many people who appear in the movie had no idea they were being filmed (call it method directing). Impressively, the film was so low budget that Nolan (of Batman, Memento and Inception fame) paid out of his own pocket for the film stock used in his camera — and because the stock was so expensive, many of the scenes were improvised or done in two takes only. Nolan also did most of the shooting (using available light) and editing himself. The Criterion Collection version has been digitally restored, the audio has been remixed and there’s also optional commentary by Nolan. Other notable extras include a chronological edit of the film and a separate three-minute film, “Doodlebug”, also by Nolan. Film buff or not, this Blu-ray is certainly worth stalking…err…watching.