Tick, tick, tick. The opening sequence of Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Run is an experiment in choice, in allowing editing and style to speak: gritty, brisk, and bold. It plays out in four acts: horror, thriller, cartoon, and crime.
First, we encounter time itself. A grimacing pendulum that sweeps credits into and out of sight – relentless, staring – until, mercifully, we are swallowed up and transported into a crowd. Wandering, faceless, lost among our questions and lead by the narrator through the multitude, we encounter a security guard, who neatly parallels life, and the film, with a game of soccer. The ball is round. We’re booted above the throng and, at the vertex of our ascent, presented with a view of the film’s title, LOLA RENNT, composed entirely of extras. Next, we encounter Lola. She’s a cartoon, being gulped down by monsters, punching her way through credits, racing tirelessly against the clock, until she is caught in a whirlpool and flushed into the next act. The shutter goes off, and Lola is reified in a mugshot, identified along with her co-stars, the sounds of prison doors punctuating each name. With a long zoom, we exit into the film, heading straight for Lola’s ringing telephone – and a moment of truth.
Tykwer’s decision to explore multiple modes echoes the film’s exploration of possibility and potential – of manifold destiny. Lola’s repeated struggles against the tyranny of time produce dramatic ripples, every stride a choice, and where this sequence really shines is in its willingness to examine those choices and embrace a multifarious vision.
Animated Title Sequence
Direction: Gil Alkabetz
Animation: Gil Alkabetz, Ralf Bohde
Digital Coloring: Sonja Müller
Production: Thomas Meyer-Hermann
Production Studio: Studio Film Bilder
Digital Artist, Digital Effects Supervisor: George Maihöfer
Digital Domino Effects: Dominik Trimborn, Nastuh Abootalebi
Domino Scanning, Recording, Editing: Andreas Schellenberg
Graphics Artist: Claudius Schulz