Run Lola Run
|Run Lola Run|
Original German release poster
|Directed by||Tom Tykwer|
|Produced by||Stefan Arndt|
|Written by||Tom Tykwer|
|Narrated by||Hans Paetsch|
|Music by||Tom Tykwer
|Editing by||Mathilde Bonnefoy|
|Studio||X-Filme Creative Pool|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
|Running time||81 minutes|
Run Lola Run (German: Lola rennt, literally Lola Runs) is a 1998 German film, written and directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni. The story follows a woman who needs to obtain 100,000 German marks (50,984 Euro) in 20 minutes to save her boyfriend's life. The film's three scenarios are reminiscent of the 1981 Krzysztof Kieślowski film Blind Chance; following Kieślowski's death, Tykwer directed his planned film Heaven.
The film begins with Lola (Franka Potente) receiving a phone call from her distraught boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu). He is a small-time criminal and has lost 100,000 marks belonging to his crime boss by accidentally leaving it on a train (Lola was supposed to pick him up, but her moped was stolen while she was buying cigarettes). After the doors of the train closed, he saw a homeless man pick up the bag of money but he was unable to get back onto the train before it left the station. Upon not seeing any trace of his money or the homeless man at the next station, Manni assumes the money is long gone.
Manni has to get the money within 20 minutes before his boss finds out, and plans to rob a nearby supermarket. Lola urges him to wait and tells him she will sort out the money. She decides to ask her father (Herbert Knaup), who is a bank manager.
The main part of the film is divided in three "runs". Each run starts from the same situation but develops differently and has a different outcome. Each run contains various flash-forward sequences, showing how the lives of the people that Lola bumps into develop after the encounter. In each run, those people are affected in different ways.
First run 
Lola starts running and encounters a punk with a dog in the staircase. The dog growls at her, causing her to sprint faster. Lola runs through the streets of Berlin towards her father's bank. She collides with a woman pushing a baby carriage, who curses her - a flash forward then shows the woman's child being taken away by Child Care leading her to steal someone else's baby. Continuing, Lola runs alongside a man on a bike who offers to sell it to her. She says no, and a flash-forward shows the man having his bike stolen in a mugging but eventually marrying a nurse at the hospital he met during his recovery. Lola then causes a man (who is later shown to be her father's colleague) to be involved in a small car accident. When she arrives at the bank, Lola's father refuses to give her money, telling her that he feels unappreciated at home, that he is leaving Lola and her mother for his mistress who is expecting his child and that he is not Lola's real father. Also at the bank Lola passes one woman in the hallway who is shown in a flash-forward to be paralysed in a violent car accident, then killing herself shortly after. Lola runs on to meet Manni, arriving a few moments after the deadline. Manni's robbery is already in progress; Lola decides to help him rob the store. The two flee on foot afterwards but find themselves surrounded by police, and a nervous police officer accidentally shoots Lola in the chest.
The scene fades out to show Lola and Manni talking in bed, with Lola questioning Manni about his love for her. While answering Manni's question as to whether she's leaving him, Lola says "Stop!" and the film restarts at the point where she started running.
Second run 
In the second run, the punk with the dog trips Lola, injuring her leg and making her limp slightly. She collides once again with the woman pushing a baby carriage, but a flash forward this time shows the woman winning a lottery. She once again meets the man on the bike but this time accusing him of stealing it, which a flash forward reveals leads him to become a homeless tramp who looks identical to the tramp on the train that distracted Manni. Lola again causes a car accident involving the father's colleague. Lola arrives at the bank a few moments later because of her limp, which leaves enough time for her father's mistress to explain that she is pregnant by someone else. Lola hears more of the argument this time, and becomes infuriated. She robs her father's bank with a gun grabbed from the bank's security officer, escapes because the police mistake her for a fleeing hostage, and takes off with the money to meet Manni. A flash-forward shows the lady who passes Lola in the hallway later settling down with the cashier who hands Lola the money at gunpoint. When Lola reaches Manni, he hears her call his name, but he is run over by an ambulance as he crosses the street to meet her.
The scene again fades to Lola and Manni in bed, this time with the roles reversed: Manni questions Lola about her love for him. The film briefly returns to the present day and shows Manni refusing to die, before restarting once more at the beginning of Lola's run.
Third run 
The third time Lola is a split second faster, as she leaps over the punk on the steps. This time she neither collides with the woman and her baby carriage nor causes an accident, and the business associate is able to pick up Lola's father. This time, the man on the bike bumps into the tramp who is revealed to have taken the money, and sells the bike to him at an inflated price. Lola misses her father completely and keeps on running. She enters a casino, buys a single 100-mark chip, and finds a roulette table. She wins two consecutive bets on the number "20", which gives Lola 123,500 marks, more than enough money to help Manni. She hitches a ride in the ambulance from the other runs, as it stops. The ambulance is carrying the security guard from her father's bank who has apparently suffered a heart attack. She takes his hand, and moments later, his heart rate begins to return to normal.
Meanwhile, Manni sees the homeless man riding the bike. Manni chases him, inadvertently causing a car crash involving Lola's father, his business associate, and the man who stole Lola's moped in the first place. Manni retrieves his money, but the homeless man asks for Manni's gun in return. Feeling sorry for the homeless man, Manni gives him his gun. Lola arrives to find Manni stepping out of a car and shaking his boss's hand. The movie ends with Manni asking Lola what is in the bag she is carrying.
- Franka Potente as Lola
- Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni
- Herbert Knaup as Papa
- Nina Petri as Frau Hansen
- Armin Rohde as Herr Schuster
- Joachim Król as Norbert von Au
- Ludger Pistor as Herr Meier
- Suzanne von Borsody as Frau Jäger
- Sebastian Schipper as Mike
- Julia Lindig as Doris
- Lars Rudolph as Herr Kruse
- Ute Lubosch as Mama
- Monica Bleibtreu as the blind woman
- Heino Ferch as Ronnie
- Hans Paetsch as Narrator
||This section may contain original research. (February 2011)|
The film features two allusions to Alfred Hitchcock's film Vertigo. Like that film, it features recurring images of spirals, such as the 'Spirale' Cafe behind Manni's phone box and the spiral staircase down which Lola runs. In addition, the painting on the back wall of the casino of a woman's head seen from behind is based on a shot in Vertigo: Tykwer disliked the empty space on the wall behind the roulette table and commissioned production designer Alexander Manasse to paint a picture of Kim Novak as she appeared in Vertigo. Manasse could not remember what she looked like in the film and so decided to paint the famous shot of the back of her head. The painting took fifteen minutes to complete.
There are also several references to German culture in the film. The most notable is the use of Hans Paetsch as a narrator. Paetsch is a famous voice of children's stories in Germany, recognized by millions. Many of the small parts are cameo roles by famous German actors (for example the bank teller). Also, two quotes by German football legend Sepp Herberger appear: "The ball is round, the game lasts 90 minutes, everything else is pure theory," and, "After the game is before the game."
The film touches on themes such as free will vs. determinism, the role of chance in people's destinies, and obscure cause-effect relationships. Through brief flash-forward sequences of still images, Lola's fleeting interactions with bystanders are revealed to have surprising and drastic effects on their future lives, serving as concise illustrations of chaos theory's butterfly effect, in which minor, seemingly inconsequential variations in any interaction can blossom into much wider results than is often recognized. The film's exploration of the relationship between chance and conscious intention comes to the foreground in the casino scene, where Lola appears to defy the laws of chance through sheer force of will, impossibly making the roulette ball land on her winning number with the help of a glass-shattering scream.
The thematic exploration of free will vs. determinism is made clear from the start. In the film's brief prologue, an unseen narrator asks a series of rhetorical questions that prime the audience to view the film through a metaphysical lens touching on traditional philosophical questions involving determinism vs. philosophic libertarianism, as well as epistemology. The theme is reinforced through the repeated appearance of blind women who briefly interact with major characters in each alternative reality (each "run"), and seem to have supernatural understandings of both the present and potential futures in those realities. The film ultimately seems to favor a compatiblist philosophical view to the free will question as evidenced by the casino scene and by the final telephone booth scene in which one of the blind women redirects Manni's attention to a passerby, which enables him to make an important choice near the film's climax.
Connections between the runs 
Their resulting futures are then conveyed in a series of still frames. The futures are widely divergent from encounter to encounter. In one scenario, a woman whom Lola accidentally bumps into remains poor and kidnaps an unattended baby after her child was taken away by social workers. In another scenario the woman wins the lottery and becomes rich. In the third scenario, the woman experiences a religious conversion. The sound of the camera flash warming up is repeated a final time at the end of the film, when Lola smiles at Manni's question about what's in her bag.
Several moments in the film allude to a supernatural awareness of the characters. For example, in the first reality, a nervous Lola is shown by Manni how to use a gun by removing the safety, whereas she does this as if remembered from a previous experience in the second reality.
The soundtrack of the film, by Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil, includes numerous musical quotations of the sustained string chords of The Unanswered Question, an early 20th-century chamber ensemble work by American composer Charles Ives. In the original work, the chords are meant to represent "the Silences of the Druids—who Know, See and Hear Nothing."
The techno soundtrack established dialectical relation between motives of the movie: Rhythm, Repetition, and Interval among various spatio-temporal logics. This produces unification of contradictions like Time and Space or The cyclical and the linear.
- Lola's apartment – The apartment block is located at 13-14 Albrechtstraße, Berlin-Mitte, near Friedrichstraße railway station.
- U-Bahn (underground) train overpass – The location is on the north corner of Falckensteinstraße and Oberbaumstraße.
- Bridge passageway – Oberbaumbrücke
- U-Bahn station in the middle of the road – It is the south entrance of Französische Straße U-Bahn station. The entrance is actually located on Friedrichstraße. Lola appears from Jägerstraße, runs across the road and then around the corner in to Französische Straße. The actual path Lola takes differs from run to run.
- The Nuns – North end of Mauerstraße.
- Lola and the Cyclist – Further south of Mauerstraße. The cyclist appears from Französische Straße.
- The corner of a building Lola runs around and encounters the Street Bum (Runs 1 & 2, no Bum in 3 though) - Corner of Ziegelstraße and Monbijoustraße.
- Shop Underpassage – The shop underpassage that Lola runs in Run 1 is on corner of Charlottenstraße and Französische Straße.
- Deutsche Transfer Bank – The bank is located at the corner of Behrenstraße and Hedwigskirchgasse, near the Opera. The actual location is Behrenstraße 37.
- Square Tile Pattern Pavement – Gendarmenmarkt and the Konzerthaus.
- The Supermarket – The supermarket is located at the south-west corner of the intersection of Osnabrücker Straße and Tauroggener Straße.
- Lola runs in front of lorry – The corner of Hinter dem Gießhaus and Unter den Linden, in front of the Deutsches Historisches Museum.
- The Casino – The exterior of the casino is located on Unter den Linden, facing the Deutsches Historisches Museum.
- Lola gets shot – North end of Cuvrystraße.
- Manni getting arrested – Deutsche Oper U-Bahn station.
- Herr Meier coming out of his garage – The location is 23-24 Wallstraße.
- The Ambulance and Glass – The intersection of Buchholzer Straße and Greifenhagener Straße. Lola and the ambulance start at the south end of the Greifenhagener Straße and travel North.
- The 2 Cars and Scooter Crash – Intersection Hussitenstraße and Max-Ulrich-Straße.
- Wishing Manni to wait – Shortly after Strausberger Platz, along Karl Marx Allee, running east. In the film the Fernsehturm is obscured by the trees.
Critical reception 
The film was nominated for 41 awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language. It won 26. These included the Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics, the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival, and seven separate wins at the German Film Awards.
As of September 2008[update], the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 92% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 79 reviews. On Metacritic, another review aggregator, the film had an average score of 77 out of 100, based on 29 reviews, stating the film as having "generally favourable reviews". The Internet Movie Database, IMDb, shows Run Lola Run as having earned 8 out of 10.
In contrasting reviews, Film Threat's Chris Gore said of the film, "[It] delivers everything great foreign films should - action, sex, compelling characters, clever filmmaking, it's unpretentious (a requirement for me) and it has a story you can follow without having to read those annoying subtitles. I can't rave about this film enough -- this is passionate filmmaking at its best. One of the best foreign films, heck, one of the best films I have seen", while Jonathan Rosenbaum of The Chicago Reader stated, "About as entertaining as a no-brainer can be--a lot more fun, for my money, than a cornball theme-park ride like "Speed," and every bit as fast moving. But don't expect much of an aftertaste."
See also 
- "Run Lola Run - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- Tom Tykwer, commentary on the DVD edition of the film.
- Puzzle films: complex storytelling in contemporary cinema, by Warren Buckland, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, pages 137-138
- Lola rennt – Berlin Locations. About.com. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- "Lola Rennt (1998) - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "Run Lola Run - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "Run Lola Run (1999): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "Lola Rennt (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- Gore, Chris (1999-06-28). "RUN LOLA RUN". Film Threat. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "Run Lola Run: Capsule by Jonathan Rosenbaum". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema". Empire. Text " 86. Run Lola Run " ignored (help)
- Official website
- Lola rennt
- Run Lola Run at the Internet Movie Database
- Run Lola Run at AllRovi
- Run Lola Run at Box Office Mojo
- Run Lola Run at Rotten Tomatoes
- List of locations used in the film from movie-locations.com