Monday, July 13, 2009

everything else is pure theory

This week's theme will be Postwar German Movies That I Recommend to You.
I used to live in Germany. I studied German for so many years I lost count. Allegedly, my PhD minor is Germanic studies. I study like, movies and shit. For my PhD. So I feel somewhat qualified to do this.

The first of this week's quintet of recommendations is

Tom Tykwer's

Run Lola Run

I realize this is pretty hackneyed, but bear with me. I think people only understand Run Lola Run as an MTV-generation music video, but I'm hoping you'll come around to the way I see it.

It isn't merely a much more fun way to introduce yourself to Berlin on foot than reading an excruciating travel guide: Lola Rennt is a philosophical examination of what I understand epistemology to be. The slick style is off putting for some, but I see the media/medium as the message , a vehicle used to deliver an important statement about the multiplicity of truths, the possibility of concurrent realities, the notion of infinite possibility

I think Lola Rennt is a good movie to watch for those who are learning German (the language), because you get to see everything 3 times, however minimal the dialogue is. As my German teacher in high school said, "There's truth in all 3 iterations of this film." That statement introduced to me the notion of concurrent truth. Maybe I was a little slow.

Unlike some of the German films I'll be talking about in the upcoming days, Lola Rennt is relatively happy and deals only peripherally with the huge, horrifying, all-caps concepts overshadowing German life and film, at least the way we understand them in the USA: WORLD WAR II and EAST/WEST DIVIDE.

I was introduced to this film at a young age, so maybe it's heavy handed. I'm not watching it again to write this post. Maybe it wouldn't hold up. Maybe it seems blatant and obvious. I recall being about 18 and finding it really profound that Tykwer shot the scenes on film of Lola & Manni but everything of everyone else on video, so it would seem less real.

And you know what, I mean, I still find that pretty profound. What can I say. I'm a philistine at heart.

Therefore, I recommend Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt) to you.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I had the same worry about rewatching Lola Rennt. Similar experience - watched it in high school and thought it sort of blew my mind, and was worried about watching it later (like last year). But when my German boyfriend had never seen it - and I figured that everyone my age who had taken German in high school knew it as "the German movie" - I checked it out again. And it was very enjoyable! Maybe it helps to watch it with someone who's seeing it for the first time.


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