Ten years later, Tom Tykwer’s pop masterpiece still fascinates and exhilarates. It’s a film with a simple premise and complex philosophical implications, a movie that’s all about movement which nonetheless points to big questions best contemplated in complete repose. It’s a film about chance, second chances, repetition, and contingency. It’s Groundhog Day with a techno beat, Rashomon reimagined as a stylized game played on a Google map of Berlin. Rules are established — black and white for flashbacks, video for scenes without Manni and Lola, a quick succession of stills for the future of strangers — but even after the umpteenth viewing, mysteries remain: what is the significance of Lola’s scream? Which characters remember the events of the previous episode? Run Lola Run is emotional, conceptual, symbolic, philosophical, spiritual, local, and visceral. Not bad for an 80 minute joyride you can dance to.
Lola Rennt. Tom Tykwer, 1997. *****
A music video featuring the vocal stylings of Franka Potente: