Intertextual references

Getting to know and interpreting intertextual references

Run Lola Run is full of quotations and references to elements from films, literature, music and other fields. For example, the recurring spirals are regarded as an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958).

Homage: An homage (French homme, from Latin homo, „man“, through Middle Latin homagium, "homage" to the vassal) is a public tribute, usually to a famous person to whom one is committed. Often the authors of an homage are themselves in the public eye. Above all, homage is considered to be any reference made in the context of an artistic work, highlighting someone to whom the artist owes some special inspiration for their work.

Persiflage: A persiflage (from the French persifler, „to mock, to ridicule“) is a witty, imitative and often critical mockery of a genre, an artistic work or a certain attitude of mind in general. It can easily be compared to the rhetorical strategies of satire, especially the stylistic device of exaggeration. Here, then, it is not a matter of a transformation of content or style as in parody or travesty, but rather the witty, satirical distortion of content, themes or motifs.

Parody: A parody (Greek παρῳδία parōdía „burlesque song or poem“) is a distorting, exaggerating or mocking imitation, often of a well-known work, a prominent person (group) or a real event. Characteristic features of the original are exaggerated, which often has a comical effect. A parody does not necessarily have to have a pejorative character, but can even be a homage to the parodied original.

Source: Wikipedia

Run Lola Run is an internationally successful film that has won many awards. Since its release it has been quoted in many ways. In the following you will find four examples.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons, Episode: Trilogy Of Error

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi: It’s My Life, Album: Crush


Scrubs, Episode: My Bright Idea

Oma rennt (Grandma runs)

Dominik Wein

Task 1

  1. Have a look at the four examples and describe which element(s) of Run Lola Run is/are referred to in each video.

  2. Decide in each case whether the example is an homage, persiflage, parody or something else. Give reasons for your decision.
  1. Imagine you were a filmmaker and wanted to include a reference to RUN LOLA RUN in your work. Sketch a short script extract in which you describe the scene.

Task 2

It is not only moving pictures that refer to Run LOla Run: the film also appealed to artists in the field of graphic art.

Plakat Run Lola Run

Example 1
(picture in larger format as PDF)
© by Chris Cerrato, Website:, Instagram: @cerratosaurus

  1. Analyse and interpret one of the four images: Which elements of the film are taken up by the artist and how? What is the intention of the film references?
  2. Research further examples and present them to your classmates.