Christopher Nolan Loves To Go Big, But He’s At His Best When The Movies Are Small

By Robert J. Matthews

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Christopher Nolan's movies are known for unique features, including non-linear timelines, star-studded casts, and a grand scale across genres.

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Nolan's signature style extends from The Dark Knight trilogy to his historical epic Oppenheimer, showcasing consistency in his filmmaking.

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Surprisingly, Nolan's smaller, earlier films demonstrate the effectiveness of his signature style, delivering some of his best work.

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Nolan's debut film, Following, took a small-scale approach with a budget of less than $8,000, and he played multiple roles, including writing, directing, cinematography, and editing.

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Following's storyline involves an aspiring writer entangled with a criminal and a femme fatale, echoing themes found in Nolan's later films.

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Despite its modest budget, Following encompasses Nolan's trademarks— a protagonist's quest for identity, unexpected twists, and a modern take on the noir genre.

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Notably, the character named "Cobb" in Following influenced Nolan's later film Inception, where Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed a dream thief.

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Nolan's ability to craft intense thrills on a small budget is evident in Following, with its ending leaving viewers with a spinning head.

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Following gained acclaim at festivals, propelling Nolan into the spotlight and catching the attention of other directors, including the late Joel Schumacher.

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The success of Following highlights Nolan's talent in creating compelling narratives and intense experiences, showcasing his filmmaking prowess even on a smaller scale.

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