Christopher Nolan’s First Released Short Film ‘Doodlebug’: Watch His Twisted 1997 Debut

There's always a bigger bug.
Christopher Nolan’s First Released Short Film ‘Doodlebug’ — Watch

Nearly a decade before he was making movies about bats, Christopher Nolan was turning his attention to bugs. The filmmaker made a debut of sorts with 1997’s “Doodlebug,” a three-minute short filmed on 16mm and produced by his future wife and producing partner Emma Thomas, who’s worked with Nolan on each of his subsequent films.

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“Doodlebug” is marked by a grainy, black-and-white aesthetic that’s of a piece with the spar narrative about a man (Jeremy Theobald) trying to squash an insect in his dingy apartment. It eventually gets recursive, with the bug in question being revealed as a miniature version of the man himself; in the end, they’re both of them dwarfed by an even larger version who appears behind them.

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“Doodlebug” was preceded by two unreleased shorts, 1989’s “Tarantella” and 1995’s “Larceny.” Nolan followed it with “Following” (which likewise starred Theobald, who also had a cameo in “Batman Begins”) the next year and 2000’s “Memento,” which proved to be his breakthrough.

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