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Breaking the Rules of the Game - In "Run Lola Run"

by Chris Pratola

I agree. The style in which the film was shot in, really brings this intense feeling while Lola races against time to gather all the money before her boyfriend is killed. Also, an interesting message within the film when she tries to gamble again. Everyone is a slave to their own devices. She obviously doesn't have too much money for herself, and is tempted to have a little more. We are all greedy in our own way I think. Awesome film. Also the style incorporates many of the topics dicussed throughout the semester. It has a very surreal feel to it at times. 

It seems like many theories discussed in class has a lot to do with breaking the rules. Whether it's 3D, or Virtual Reality, or the way we experience video games, or the concept of P.O.V. Everyone is trying to up the ante. 


Life is a Game

by Kristina Thomas


"Run Lola Run" shows Lola running around town to save her boyfriend from ending up dead, because he lost a bag of money.  Throughout the film, we see Lola taking chances everywhere she turns, playing this game with life.  Will she live, will she die, and will she get all the money in time?  This is the story of Lola.

Just as the previous commentary mentioned, Lola is playing a game but breaking the rules at every turn.  Just like in the real world outside the screen, we all take chances, and some times break the rules to win the game.  in this case, the casino scene shows how much Lola wants to win the money, to give to her boyfriend.  A dollar short, and begging the cashier, Lola manages to put all her money on one number.  The ball is tossed, and the ball lands on her number.  She wins.  But Lola goes for another spin, hoping to win more money.  WIlliam Uricchio states "The shock of time evident in the radical compression of fast motion or the extension of slow motion, in the impossibility of reverse motion and stop-motion, transformed topics like the blossoming of flowers [Nature's Fairest (Gaumont, 1912)] or the lifecycle of flies [Flies (Eclipse-Ubanora, 1913)] into documents of unexpected cultural relevance" (pg11).  Thus we see different scenes, different time changes when Lola tries new avenues, in order to get the money for her boyfriend.  People's lives are changed tremendously if she doesn't bump into them.  An old woman ends up losing her child in the first sequence, and then when Lola runs past her, the woman wins the lottery.  Lola is taking different paths and changing the things around her.

In the end, Lola wins the game.  She ends up getting all the money, and her boyfriend finding the money he had lost.  It all works out in the end.  Although you change the game, it doesn't mean the other player of the game can't change either.

Breaking the Rules of the Game in "Run Lola Run"

by Survey of Interactive Media

“The ball is round, the game lasts 90 minutes.  That is fact.  Everything else is pure theory.”

Lola plays a very simple game in the film Run Lola Run.  Manni, Lola’s boyfriend, needs one hundred thousand marks by 12:00 or will be killed.  Those are the facts.  Everything else turns out be theory.  Gonzalo Frasca defines a game as an “activity organized under a system of rules that defines a victory or a defeat, a gain or a loss.”  The basic rules of the game are straightforward.  Lola needs to obtain an object (one hundred thousand marks) by a certain time period (12:00) to win.  Part of the enjoyment of the film is derived from watching Lola break nearly every other rule the audience thought was in play.  For example, a little thing like death will not stop Lola from playing her game.  In the film, death is not a rule, it is only theory.  This clip is interesting because it serves as a microcosm for themes that are explored throughout the movie.  Here the audience watches as Lola breaks commonly understood rules for playing a game.

There are three main rules broken in this scene.  In the casino, money is exchanged for chips.  It is a one to one ratio.  One hundred marks can be exchanged for a one hundred mark chip.  Lola tries to do this but is short on money.  She can only plead.  The teller sympathizes with her and gives her a break.  The next rule that is broken is the dress code.  The casino is a black tie affair.  Lola is dressed in a tank top and casual pants.  She is still let into the casino and allowed to bet.  After she wins once, she is about to be kicked out, but again she pleads, “just one more game.”  The security guard lets her.  The final and most thematically important rule is broken while Lola plays roulette.  The game of roulette is based on chance.  A person bets money knowing that there is chance that they could win more or lose it all.  In this scene, Lola ignores the rule of chance and imposes her own will onto the game.  She screams at the top of her lungs.  This scream is an aural representation of her will power dominating the rules of her world.  She screams and the ball goes where she wants.  She wins the game. 

This scene is a manifestation of the films larger themes.  Here the audience gets to watch Lola play and play against the normal rules of an actual, literal game.  The rest of the film repeats this motif in the more abstract game of life.

-Spencer Boyle

Run Lola Run: Casino Scene

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In the casino, Lola wills her way to 100 000 marks.

from Lola Rennt (1998)
Creator: Tom Tykwer
Posted by Survey of Interactive Media