Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hitting The Reset Button in Berlin, or Thoughts on Run Lola Run

Still one of the greatest soundtracks of the 90’s, Tom Twyker’s Run, Lola Run (Lola rennt, 1998) introduced German actor Franke Potente to the world while what also being one of the first movies to deliberately present reality as a video game (unless you want to start with Tron, 1982).  Coming in at a taut 75 minutes, this stylish, philosophical crime thriller focuses on singular moments, alternate paths and the struggle against fate, chance and destiny. 
Franke Potente is Lola, the girlfriend of petty criminal Manny, who has just lost 100,000 Deutsch Marks and is on the run from the German Mob.  Lola has to raise the money in twenty minutes before Manny either 1, robs a supermarket, or 2, gets iced by the gangsters.  But here’s the twist: there’s a supernatural element, Lola’s screams can break glass and manipulate time.  The movie gives her three chances to save Manny (75 minutes, remember?). Though that whole relationship seems unproductive, but Lola’s in love, what can you do.
The movie lapses into 2D animation as Lola runs, an effective portrayal of Lola’s interior landscape while black and white flashbacks, oblique angles and frenetic, seizure-inducing edits convey her thought process and problem solving abilities.  Run Lola Run is filmed in something close to real time, and boy can Franke Potente run.  The audience is concurrently exhausted and exhilarated by the time the clever ending arrives.
Equal parts Groundhog Day (1993) and The Matrix (1999) with a dash of Vertigo (1958), Run Lola Run is visually arresting and packed with a 90's post-grunge aesthetic that now seems distant and sentimental.  Director Tom Twyker went on to work with The Wachowskis in the under-rated Cloud Atlas (2012) and their Netflix series Sens8.  I think he was dating Franke Potente at the time, but don’t quote me on that.
Franke Potente has enjoyed numerous appearances in this blog, including American Horror Story: Asylum (2012, where she played Anne Frank), Creep (2004), and The Conjuring 2 (2016).

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).