Scene analysis

Understanding and thinking about cinematic time

Lola runs against time to save her Manni. But Run Lola Run is also a game which plays with the possibilities of cinematic time. Moreover, the film is full of allusions and references that are often not always seen at first glance. Some are so well camouflaged that they only become apparent when you’re looking out for them. The following scene, shot in Behrenstraße 📍, is an example of this.

In our everyday life we perceive time in a linear way. Past events lie in the past, now is the present and the future is what follows. Films usually deviate from our concept of time, because only in very few films does the duration of the film (the narrative time) correspond to the narrated time, i.e. the period of time the narrated story covers.

With the introduction of montage techniques from the 1910s onwards, it became common practice to break up the consistent progress of narrative time and narrated time. Filmmakers began to interrupt the flow of time by no longer telling stories in chronological order, introducing flashbacks or previews, or omitting passages by means of time jumps (ellipses). Time could now also be accelerated or stretched, for example by using fast motion or slow motion for dramatic effects.
A cut connects one setting or shot with another. Editing is the process of selecting, arranging and stitching together the individual shots that were taken during filming.
By making cuts, the editor can create continuity between shots so that the action follows a logical, continuous course. In order to achieve the greatest possible continuity, cuts should remain as unobtrusive as possible so that the viewer is not irritated by unexpected jumps.

TC: 00:22:26 – 00:22:43

Task 1

  1. Watch the film clip of Lola's first run. Lola has just left the bank and is standing at the front door. A woman approaches her from the right. What do you notice?
  2. In the workspace you will find two still images from the scene. Write on the note cards, identifying the image elements that help make the scene work.
  1. Find out what a match cut is. Is this scene a match cut? Give reasons for your decision.
  2. Interpret the scene in connection with the theme of time in Run Lola Run.