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A Short Mission: Christopher Nolan’s Doodlebug

Doodlebug indicates the early stirrings of what would evolve into the wonderful visionary mind of Christopher Nolan. From Memento to the Batman films to Oppenheimer, Nolan has a proven track record of making thought-provoking cinema, and this is shown in his debut short from 1997.

Doodlebug sees a jittery character named ‘the man’ take on a formidable bug, but to no avail. Hopping and jumping around a dark and poky apartment, the man tries to kill an ominous bug which proves to be too fast for him, until eventually he catches up.

Perhaps like some of Nolan’s other films, Doodlebug leaves many questions unanswered, but that doesn’t really matter. The short film derives its power from the unknown, letting our imaginations run wild in the face of the unexplained and perhaps if we knew the answers, it wouldn’t be as entertaining and that’s what makes this short a hidden gem.

A promise of intrigue was provided by this short when it was released and now, almost 30 years on, it opens an enlightening window into the genesis of one of modern cinema’s true auteurs.


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