Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

It seems unfair to criticise a black-and-white, no budget, shot-at-weekends, unpaid labour of love from writer/director/editor, Christopher Nolan, until you remember thatThe Brothers McMullen and Lodge Kerrigan's haunting Clean, Shaven were made that way. Doing it on a prayer doesn't mean doing it with a hole in the head. Nolan's film has an ambitious Hitchcockian plot that succeeds in tying itself in knots.

A novelist on the verge of writer's block spends his afternoons following people in the street. The idea is to learn a little about human behavior. One day he follows a brisk young man in a city suit, who confronts him: "Why are you following me?" This man is a burglar. The writer becomes his accomplice. After all, think what you can learn, watching a professional at work.

There is a girl - essential ingredient for film noir - who involves herself with both men. Suddenly, the story gets complicated. Who is double crossing whom? And why don't the police know about the body of an old woman, bludgeoned to death? Because they know of another murder. "I am innocent!", cries the man. His fingerprints are all over the crime scene. Which man? Who is following whom?

The acting doesn't match the audacity of the script. The script doesn't stand up in a court of logic. The promise fails to fulfill the idea.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A writer hooks up with a thief in a tale of cross and double-cross.
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Stephen Carty ****

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell, John Nolan, Dick Bradsell, Gillian El-Kadi, Jennifer Angel

Year: 1998

Runtime: 70 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


EIFF 1999
NDNF 2021

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