Friday, July 14, 2006

Lola rennt

1998, Germany, directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run)

Though it's nowhere near as profound as its philosopophical trappings would like you to believe, this remains one of the most sheerly enjoyable European movies of the 1990's. Director Tom Tykwer's fascination with coincidences, intertwined fates and split-second decisions (all present in earlier work like Winter Sleepers) is given full reign here, where the same tale (of a frantic 20-minute search for 100,000 Deutschmarks) is told three times, with the devil in the minor variations, and three profoundly different outcomes. Each version is separated by a brief interlude that fills in some of the back story between Lola (Franka Potente, who burns up the screen) and Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), the boyfriend she's attempting to get out of trouble. While the pauses take themselves too seriously, they do help to make Manni, in particular, a more appealing character than his ne'er-do-well behaviour might otherwise allow (Moritz Bleibtreu's reserves of charm also help). Tykwer employs a full bag of cinematic tricks, switching camera styles, throwing in amusing photo-journal montages to outline the fates of minor characters, and adding a dash of split-screen action, all set to a frenetic techno beat. Lola rennt is also an essential Berlin film: although Tykwer's fictionalizes the geography (Lola's route is comical to anyone familiar with the Berlin map), the streetscapes of the post-Wall city are appealingly chronicled.


LY said...

Cult classic. We translated a scene of this in my German Translation class and I got to read Franka's role. It made me want to dye my hair flaming red. And run.

Gareth said...

What I love most about the film is that it's such a Berlin movie; I think the only one I like more is Das Leben ist eine Baustelle.

The Walou Gardner said...

Great Movie!


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