Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt) - rated - HOT! HOT! HOT!

Hip Hop Rollercoaster

Run Lola Run is one of the most visually interesting movies I've seen in a long time. It combines film, video and animation, bright clours, black-and-white, running the film backwards, stopping it and speeding it up, with frenetic camerawork and lightning-speed cutting to give you a real rollercoaster ride. This is inventive and exhilarating film making.

The plot revolves around Lola's frenetic attempts to save her boyfriend from his own stupidity. He's got involved in a drug deal (aren't there are a lot of films with this plot point at the moment?). But he's too stupid to pull it off and is about to be murdered by gangsters if Lola can't save him by getting him 100,000 marks within 20 minutes. All this from a standing start!

Lola spends most of the film running around, trying to get the money together. She does this 3 times in 3 different scenarios (bringing to mind the far less successful Sliding Doors (Peter Howitt, 1998), the somewhat more interesting Flirt (Hal Hartley, 1993) and even Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1994) - not to mention, of course, Akira Kurasawa's Rashomon (1950)).

However, Tom Twyker, the young German director is not focusing so much on the "what if?" or "if only" aspects of the film. He's actually, I think, more interested in showing us how the frenetic pace and urgency and priority of issues we face today may not reflect their true value. In the interstices of the film are short, small scenes of intimacy between Lola (the fascinating, strong and energetic Franka Potente) and Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu); the kind of stupid conversations two people who love each over tend to have when they're alone. testing each other over different imagined scenarios. And there are short moments of clarity and cruelty showing Lola's relationship with her father, and his dismissive attitude to her. These scenes contain the true meaning of the film, I think. All the rest is contrast. But what artistry!

It's a short film - only 81 minutes, and it's a masterpiece of economy. As I watched and listened to the sexy dance music on the soundtrack, I found myself sorry to think it would end soon. But though it did, the images from the film (including the knockout opening credits, so don't be late) remain imprinted on my mind.