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Distinctively Visual - Run Lola Run

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Nisrene Kourouche

on 28 July 2016

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Transcript of Distinctively Visual - Run Lola Run

Analysing the Film
'Run Lola Run' by Tom Tykwer is a stunning film incorporating an array of distinctively visual techniques. Tykwer uses many aspects to convey particular meaning. It is quite noticeable that there is not a substantial amount of dialogue, rather the story is told through images, symbols and motifs.
"I always start with an image" as quoted by Tykwer emphasises his unique ways of depicting his ideas. The image always comes first and then he tries to work around it.
There are several ideas raised within Run Lola Run which are integral to the film as whole.
Tykwer uses several techniques to convey important ideas and themes. Some techniques include:
35mm camera
black and white film
red tint camera
grainy documentary film
flash forwards
close ups
crane shots
There are several symbols and motifs which are used to emphasise the significance of particular themes and ideas. The most prominent symbols and motifs include:
number 20
glass shattering
Tykwer uses many themes within the film. Some relevant themes include:
Love conquers all
Game Theory
Fairy tale
Self knowledge
Sound Track
Run Lola Run relies very much on the way different kinds of sounds are used. The most important source of sound is the dialogues, the diegetic sound of the film, but other than the dialogues, the existence of accompanying sounds such as phone rings, the sound of gun shots, tick-tocks of various clocks and the sound of the city Berlin (police and ambulance sirens, car horns, sound of rails of the subway) are other significant sources of sounds in the film. The soundtrack is what gives rhythm to the film. Particularly the use of techno music creates an exciting and thrilling mood. Some sound effects such as the roulette table, phone ringing and clock ticking are exaggerated to create a sense of importance of these aspects..
Distinctively Visual - Run Lola Run
Identify the ways the distinctively visual is created in Run Lola Run and in one other related text of your choosing.
1. Define Distinctively Visual
You must create your own unique definition of what distinctively visual means. Do not select a definition from the dictionary and use it. Make your own! You should try to make your introduction unique and unlike any other response. Remember that there are thousands of students answering the same question, make sure you stand out.
Example Introduction:
Distinctively visual texts aim to manipulate the way we explore and interpret the images we see, critically affecting the way we make interpretations of the experiences we encounter in the world. The distinctively visual represented in 'Run Lola Run' (1998) by Tom Tykwer is significantly strong as unique images dominate the screen to create a thrilling and suspenseful film. This post modern film incorporates several sophisticated and effective elements to convey numerous ideas and themes. Tykwer implements recurring motifs and symbols such as clocks to emphasise the importance of time. Time is a significant theme within the film as the protagonist, Lola is on a game like mission to save her boyfriend, introducing the idea of game theory. This is cleverly reflected through the use of animation where Lola is given three chances to succeed in her mission. Therefore, chance is ultimately vital for Lola to make correct decisions. The use of multiple distinctively visual features throughout the film successfully create an exceptional viewing expreience.
Identify the Ideas/Themes
You should already know the three themes you will be discussing. However, you should always ensure that you have a fourth theme as 'back up'. When writing about each theme, you need to make sure that you do not list examples but rather analyse the examples. You should aim to provide three detailed examples for each theme, meaning you may have to write more then one paragraph on each theme.
The most significant idea conveyed throughout 'Run Lola Run' is that of time. Time is eminent from the opening sequence where the viewer observes the large and dominating pendulum of the gargoyal clock swinging loudly from side to side. This is supported with the diegetic sound of a ticking clock, and fast paced techno music clearly emphasising the fact that time will play a fundamental part in the film. There are several references to the limited amount of time Lola has to save Manni from Ronnie and his gang. The 20 minutes till noon are constantly focused on as the countdown begins at the start of each run. Tykwer incorporates a variety of symbolic representations of time through the constant use of clocks. We observe a clock in Lola's bedroom as she runs out of the apartment. We also see a clock outside the phone booth where Manni is waiting for Lola, constantly reminding him of how much time he has left. As Lola runs, she asks other characters for the time, emphasising her need and urgency to succeed at her quest. A variety of close up shots are used by Tykwer to demonstrate the power this theme has over the characters. The most significant incorporation of time is the use of the triple split screen, where Lola and Manni appear within the screen and a large clock arises from the bottom, articulating the mere seconds they have left and creating suspense.
Chance is a prominent theme portrayed within 'Run Lola Run'. This links to Lola and Manni's destiny and fate. This is firstly represented through the creative implementation of Lola's three lives. Each of these three segments represent Lola with the same situation, however, it is entirely up to Lola to decide the actions she will take. There is a slight variation to Lola's journey which subsequently alters the ending. We also observe changes occur to other characters involved in the film too. Tykwer cleverly represents this through colourful montages which rapidly present the potential future of the individual characters. These flashforwards alter in each run. For example, Dorris' future appears to be positive in the first run as she wins the lotto.In the second run this future is more bleak as she loses her child to child welfare and kidnaps another. Lastly, she lives a humble life, becoming a devout Jehovah Witness.
A significant symbol which Tykwer uses to portray the difficult choices Lola and Manni must make is a spiral. The spiral represents confusion and difficult choices which Lola and Manni face in all three runs. Lola must carefully determine her actions to ensure it works in her and Manni's favour. Tykwer implements spirals in several scenes. The first time the viewer sees the incorporation of spirals is in the opening sequence, where the animated version of Lola runs through a variation of spirals and subsequent tunnels which turn into spirals. More references are made to spirals as Manni waits for Lola outside the 'Spiral Cafe'. Spirals are also evident on the pillow cases in the red tint scenes between Lola and Manni as they discuss the distance they will go for one another..
Tykwer conveys Lola and Manni as a couple who are clearly in love. There are several allusions to the strength of Lola and Manni's relationship. The viewer first learns of their relationship in the opening sequence when Manni phones Lola to let her know that she let him down by not being at the right place, at the right time. Whilst in Lola's bedroom, Tywker has incorporated a polaroid shot of Manni and Lola, signifying their relationship. As a result of their love, Lola is determined to go to the extreme to save Manni, including robbing a convenience store and her father's bank. The fact that Lola constantly runs through all three segments also conveys her ambition to save her beloved boyfriend. The close up shots are used to emphasise the strain Lola goes through to reach Manni with the money on time. Her connection with Manni is further enforced with Lola being able to communicate with Manni through the glass windows of the convenience store. Their love for one another is also demostrated as each character is able to reload once the other has died. Lola restarts the game each time, ensuring that she and Manni will be together.
Tykwer uses many distictively visual elements to represent the theme of love. The most prominent is that of the colour red. Red tint scenes are used as Lola and Manni lay in bed. This is a personal moment between the two characters presenting the intimate conversation between them as they are in bed embraced in each others arms. The use of close ups are used to further emphasis the passion and devotion between the two characters.
However, the implementation of the colour red is not only used to symbolise love but other aspects as well. The prominent red phone highlights the importance of the phone call Lola receives from Manni. It is at this point which gives the green light for Lola to start each of her three runs. Lola's distinguishable firery red hair initially helps create a unique and powerful character, allowing the audience to realise that she is strong and different. Red is also used to represent death, as we see in the interlude between each game, symbolising the end of each characers life.

Ensure that you cover each theme, symbol and technique in significant detail
Try not to repeat yourself in your essay!
The Conclusion!
Just because the conclusion is the last section of your essay, it does not mean that you give up on it. Your conclusion is what the marker uses to see whether you have summed up all of your ideas. You must always refer back to the essay question. Always recap on the ideas raised in the essay, including themes and distinctively visual elements. Your conclusion should be at least six lines in length!
Overall, it is significantly evident that the distinctively visual plays an important role in Tom Tylwer's, 'Run Lola Run'. The incorporation of a variety of techniques, including symbols and motifs further emphasise meaning through the use of imagery. Tykwer has created a unique masterpiece as he has implemented techniques to make a film which is visually thrilling. The ability to establish a plot through more imagery than dialogue is highly effective.
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