Run Lola Run (1998)
Is there a more 90s film than Run Lola Run? Maybe Trainspotting, but this certainly smacks of the era. Fast paced, brutal techno score, it’s heavily stylised in effortless eurocool. Lola (Franka Potente) is the flame haired (disappointingly a wig) juggernaut at the centre of this whirlwind. Her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) has screwed up, leaving a bag of his dodgy dealing boss’s cash on a train and the boss will not be pleased when he finds himself 100,000DM light. Lola & Manni have 20 minutes to find the cash and this is Run Lola Run’s ace card. The clock. The music ramps up, the camera’s cut and spin, we transition into cartoon Lola running, it’s like a video game. Lola has a plan, asking her dad, but she doesn’t get the answer she expects, quite the opposite in fact and before we know it, Manni has dragged the pair into even more trouble. It’s a real car crash. Now when I said it’s like a game, it sort of is. The situations are real, but once one timeline plays out, we hit reset and go again. Lola back in her home, taking Manni’s panicked call. While Lola runs through the streets of Berlin, we get literal snaps shots of the people she encounters, flash frames of their lives. With each reset, the photos change. Time, chance meetings, the ever changing world around us, it all factors into the events of our lives. I’d forgotten just how much running there was with all the time replays, but it works. Partly because the backbone stays the same, keeping us anchored, but the details switch, keeping it fresh and drip feeding more narrative threads in and weaving them through the timelines. It does feel quite dated and I’m not sure it plays as well on a second watch, but it’s a nice piece of indie cinema and worthy of its almost iconic cult status.