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Run Lola Run

By adoski95 Oct 11, 2012 1092 Words
The 1998 film ‘Run Lola Run’ directed by Tom Tykwer uses visual techniques to convey messages to the audience and involve the audience in the experiences that the images create. The use of a variety of techniques create distinctively visual images that are both memorable and unique, they feature visuals that are highly distinctive. With the use of techniques including symbolism, characterisation, animation and camera techniques, Tykwer explores and conveys ideas about the nature of love, subjectivity and inescapabilty of time and the absurdity of chance events. Tykwer portrays the distinctively visual images of Lola running, the red filter scenes, animated sequences and the split screens. ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes, also utilizes distinctively visual imagery in the areas of setting, symbolism and characterisation to explore similar ideas about love and fate. Tykwer’s post-modern film is both important and influential that is remarkable for its use of a variety of innovative techniques, such as a non-linear narrative and a combination of animation ad traditional film styles. The distinctively visual image of Lola running is formed through the use of characterisation and camera shots. The image of Lola running sticks with the audience and reoccurs throughout the entire film. Lola’s red hair and youthful, urban dress illustrates a unique character. Her red hair symbolises the passion she lives with, her pants and shoes look industrial, suggesting she is resilient and strong. Her belly and tattoo being exposed indicates a carefree confidence. The tracking shot engages the audience in scenes of Lola running, it creates a sense of speed and urgency. The camera tracks in various angles, often mid-shot and side-on, this particular shot type enables the audience to be “carried along” by Lola’s momentum, thus, feeling the energy and determinism of Lola. Tykwer often cuts to close-ups of Lola’s face while she is running; shot from front-on, doing so shows Lola’s determined expression. An example of this is seen in the first run when Lola runs across the train bridge. With the use of characterisation Alfred Noyes creates a very distinctive character in ‘The Highwayman’. The Highwayman wears a “French cocked hat”, a “claret velvet coat”, “perfect fitted breeches” and rides “with a jeweled twinkle”. This characterisation of the Highwayman creates an image of a romantic hero which is both unique and distinctively visual. The red filter scenes contrast so greatly with the rest of the film making them distinctively visual. The techniques used during the red filter scenes also result in a distinctively visual image. Tykwer uses medium-close ups, symbolism and bathes the setting in red light. The majority of the scenes are made up of medium-close ups; the use of these shots assists the audience in determining the characters’ feelings and emotions. For example Manni’s frustration in the first red filter scene. A red filter is used by Tykwer in the two scenes to create a red light on both Lola and Manni. The red colouring connotes the love and passion, binding the two characters together. The red also symbolises the danger present in their relationship through the involvement in the criminal world. Colours can be used to evoke certain feelings and emotions. Throughout the poem Noyes refers to the colour red. The colour red often connotes love and danger. In regards to the poem the colours red connotes love the love between the Highwayman and Bess, portrayed in the line “plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair”. Red also represents the danger of King George’s men, “the redcoat troops came marching”. With the use of symbolism Noyes creates distinctively visual elements throughout the poem by relating the colour red to certain experiences or emotions.

Noyes employs the use of metaphors to create mental images and set moods or atmospheres. In the opening stanza of ‘The Highwayman’ Noyes’s use of metaphors introduce the setting of the poem. It creates an omnious and foreboding atmosphere. The use of the metaphor: “the wind was a torrent of darkness” as the opening line provides an intense beginning to the poem and a distinctive mental image. The three animated scenes contrast so greatly with the rest of the film, the fact that they are animated makes them unique, and thus distinctively visual. The animated sequences emphasise the theme of chance as they cause the audience to focus more on the variances between the three runs. All three of the animated scenes have Lola running down what looks like a never ending spiral staircase, the spiral representing time and confusion. The spiral images reoccur throughout the entire film constantly reminded the audience of the idea of chance and time. The part that varies in each animated scene is the encounter with the “hoodlum” with his dog. Each encounter with the hoodlum gives the audience a hint of upcoming events. Tykwer’s use of animation and foreshadowing creates distinctive scenes that catch the audience’s attention. In the scene of the split screens including Manni, Lola and the clock, Tykwer uses slow motion mid-shots and soundtrack to create a scene that depicts the ideas of both the nature of love and the inescapability of time. Manni and Lola share the split screen, Manni looks to his left and Lola runs from the right to left. This illustrates the love between the couple and the dedication Lola has for Manni – here Tykwer invites the audience to consider the nature of love. An image of the clock appears at the bottom of the screen. This involves the idea of time, bringing it to the forefront. It plays the role of a third character in the film. We are never allowed to forget the relentless pressure of time that Lola and Manni face. Bringing the three main elements together in one screen helps increase tension. The scene builds to a climax as the audience see that their joint dedication has almost brought them together physically, however they are still controlled despite their devotion and energy by time. Tykwer conveys the nature of love, the absurdity of chance events and the subjectivity and inescapability of time through a number of distinctively visual scenes. He uses a variety of techniques to create unique scenes of Lola running, the red filtered scenes and the animated sequence. The use of these techniques engages the audience with the film and conveys the messages Tykwer aims to deliver. ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes, also utilizes distinctively visual imagery in the areas of setting, symbolism and characterisation to explore similar ideas about love and fate.

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