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  • See the Movie
    by Jeff Clark, Media Resources Director/Resident Film Guru


    If you read the entry for this movie on Leo, you’ll find the following description: “A thrilling post-MTV, roller-coaster ride about two star-crossed lovers who have only minutes to change the course of their lives. Time is running out: Lola has just received a frantic call from her boyfriend Manni, who's accidentally lost a small fortune he was to deliver to his mobster boss. If they cannot find a way to replace the money within twenty minutes, Manni will surely suffer severe consequences.”  

    But that’s just the plot hook.  What Run Lola Run—original title, for those of you who want their German language pure: Lola Rennt—does, is put the viewer through the equivalent of video game variations.  The basic plot is repeated twice; and three times Lola runs into different chances, different obstacles, different outcomes in her attempt to get the money and save her Manni. It’s a ride where just when you thought the roller coaster was over, it kicks into another rise to the top and another plunge through another set of loops. 

    But there’s something more serious than cinematic video-gaming going on here.  Lola’s central events are really two quiet moments between the lovers that separate its "if at first you don't succeed..." plot repetitions. They involve impossible human desires in the face of moving-target reality. In the first quiet moment, Lola pines for assurance from Manni of being the fated love of his life--as if no other love would have happened in it until her arrival. In the second, Manni is haunted by the notion that though being “the one” for Lola, he's not necessarily irreplaceable. "If not me..." she’s wondering, and "After me..." he’s thinking. Two desires for stability, fixity of feeling and meaning--two sides of one coin--flying in the face of the chaotic motion and possibility of life. We’ve all been there, so it’s amusing, poignant, even a bit uneasy. 

    Do yourself a favor when you view this nifty, very short feature film by young German filmmaker Tom Tykwer.  Don’t put on the English language-dubbed soundtrack. It’s dismal, once you’ve heard Lola’s (actress Franka Potente’s) real voice to match her flaming red mane and screaming intensity. The dialogue is basic, the subtitles you’ll have to read are few, and these two tempest-tossed people feel realer in their native tongue. And if you view the DVD at home with a full surround sound system, crank up the volume.  The European techno-beat soundtrack will take your ears for a ride with your eyes and feelings.

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