The Gaze and Surveillance / Voyeurs and Intruders series continues with two medium-length films.
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski (1989)
in Polish, with English subtitles
Directed by Christopher Nolan (1998)
Decalogue VI is the sixth of the ten films Kieslowski shot for TV, all –loosely– based on the Ten Commandments. In almost all of these, the director presents a skeptic view about human nature–a skepticism that questions the applicability of the respective commandment in each episode. In the sixth episode, Kieslowski uses the commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery” as a means to reflect upon the erotic and compassionate facets of love (rather than dealing with adultery simpliciter): Tomek, a 19-year-old withdrawn boy, spies on the woman living opposite to his apartment building. He also intrudes into her life through cautious ways: makes anonymous phone calls, steals her mails and sometimes makes her come to the post office where he’s working (by filling out fake postal cheques). However, after one occasion he feels compelled to confess to her, which turns the scales and entails provocative consequences on his part.
Despite being his first film, Christopher Nolan‘s Following does not lack the most prominent feature of his filmography: a very well-crafted, non-linear story where any minute detail bears the potential to reverse the state of affairs. “An older man listens to Bill’s story about being a callow writer who likes to follow strangers around London, observing them. One day, a glib and self-confident man whom Bill has been following confronts him. He’s Cobb, a burglar who takes Bill under his wing and shows him how to break and enter. They burgle a woman’s flat; Bill gets intrigued with her (photographs are everywhere in her flat). He follows her and chats her up at a bar owned by her ex-boyfriend, a nasty piece of work who killed someone in her living room with a hammer. Soon Bill is volunteering to do her a favor, which involves a break-in.” (imdb.com / Plot provided by the user “jhailey”[at HotmailCom])