Essay 2 Run Lola Run

Run Lola Run (1998) directed by Tom Tykwer, uses different narrative features throughout the film in helping develop the idea that time is in control when you’re against reality. Through conflict, the struggling choices and problems characters face throughout their journey, we watch Lola have conflict with time as she tries to save her boyfriend Manni. Tracking shot is used along with non-diegetic sounds to help further understand Lola’s conflict with time. As tracking shot follows Lola running to Manni from many different angles, non-deigetic sound (music) is used to create the effect of time following her. At some points the mood of the music would be up beat and fast, whereas at some points it would slow down. This reflects not only time but also her thoughts of how much time she has left.

The purpose of this is to indicate that Lola is fighting against time in order to save Manni, it shows us that time can be your enemy especially in life-threatening situations. This is important because the conflict shows that Lola’s full attention is on the fact that she needs to save Manni no matter how little time she has, she almost tries to beat time itself. This explains to us that Lola is a strong character who will fight against anything to save the one’s she loves.

In Exposition, giving an idea of the background story between a character, setting or event, it also develops the main idea that is time is in control when you’re against reality. The exposition in Run Lola Run is once Manni hangs up the phone and Lola only has a short amount of time to figure out how to save Manni, we watch her think through certain people who can help her all while looking at a clock. Editing pace is used to speed up the short cuts between Lola and her surrounding objects along with people’s faces to show that she is trying to find a way that will save him. The fast cuts tell the audience that Lola is under pressure as she only has a small amount of time to think of something. Non-diegetic sounds creates a mood in the scene as fast pace music is heard only with the whispering of each persons name that Lola thinks of. All these fast motions contribute to time.

The purpose of this is that Lola is using her time wisely as she only has 20 minutes to save Manni. It creates pressure not only on Lola but the also the audience so they feel as though they’re with her. We watch her think fast and quickly to create a plan to save Manni which is important to us because it explains that Lola is determined to fight against time to save Manni no matter the punishment or ending result.

Overall, through exposition and conflict we are taught the idea that time is in control when you’re against reality. We are shown this through Lola’s determination of saving Manni under a short time. This explains to us that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and that time itself can be your enemy at the worst of times.





Essay 1 Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), directed by Guillermo Del Toro, shows numerous narrative features that develop the idea that time is in control when you’re against reality. Conflict is a main feature shown in Pan’s Labyrinth, it shows the struggling choices and problems characters face through either other characters, the environment or in this case time and reality. We watch Ofelia fight against is her imagination between reality and fantasy, struggling to get back home to her ‘real family’ in the Underworld rather than her actual family with her mother and Captain Vidal. As time slowly runs out for Ofelia, Vidal is on the hunt to kill her and get Ofelia’s baby brother back. Through transition cuts we watch as Captain Vidal finds Ofelia who is suppose to be talking to the Faun, but seen through three transitions we figure out Vidal can’t see the Faun once he looks over to Ofelia. It seems as though she’s talking to only herself.

This explains that the Faun and fairy are part of Ofelia’s imagination and aren’t part of her reality, making them unreal. The purpose of this is to explain to the audience that Ofelia’s conflict with her imagination on whether to sacrifice herself in order to get back ‘home’ in the Underworld has led her to her own death over time. This development of the story is important because it creates a visual understanding that Ofelia’s love for fairy tales has ultimately taken over her life and changed her perspective, even if was to keep herself distracted while staying with Captain Vidal who she doesn’t feel safe with. We watch that time slowly controls Ofelia’s direction as it leads her to a dead-end which is her death.

For exposition it gives an idea of the background story between a character, setting or event, it introduces the main idea which for us is that time is in control when you’re against reality. When Ofelia’s heavily pregnant and sick mother stops their ride from feeling ill, Ofelia finds a broken piece of stone with the carving of an eye along the path. Finding a hidden statue, Ofelia perfectly fits the broken piece of stone into the statue in which a stick insect shows itself and Ofelia believes is a fairy. This indicates to the audience that she is mixing her unreal reality into her actual reality. Diegetic sound is used in relation to the exposition especially when Ofelia’s mother quotes “Why did you bring so much books, Ofelia. We’re going to the country, the outdoors.”. This exposition shows us that Ofelia is in danger with her imagination.

This indicates to us that through Ofelia’s love of books and fairy tales she’s mixing them in with her reality. This is because she realizes that she doesn’t belong with Captain Vidal and creates the idea that she has another family in the Underworld she has forgotten about. Its purpose is to show us that Ofelia doesn’t feel safe or comfortable living with Captain Vidal and with the choices he makes.

Overall, through the two narrative features of exposition and conflict, we learn that the main purpose and idea of the film is that time is in control when you’re against reality. It looks at the confusing struggles on real versus non-real and teaches us that our mind will do anything to make us feel safe in a place we are not. We see this through Ofelia’s discomfort living with Captain Vidal and seeks safety through the Underworld where her other family is.






Entry 5

What are binary opposites in narrative theory? Research and define the theory with reference to audience interpretation and implications.

Binary Opposites are a pair of related terms that are opposite to each other, in narrative theory they can be used on two main characters that are opposed to each other. They are both similar yet with different appearances or ambitions. In relation to audience interpretation and implications the theory creates a conflicting plot between both binary opposites that explain both relations between them and an indication of the outcome that could happen.

Entry 4

Select 2 narrative features from the task resource/appendix sheet. Describe each element and detail the effect of each element on the narrative.

Exposition is ideally the start of the film where the idea or theme is introduced to the audience. In Pan’s Labyrinth we are shown through exposition through the young girl Ofelia travelling with her sick mother along a lonely road, after the mother pulls over feeling ill Ofelia wonders off to find a statue. We understand this is the exposition because we see Ofelia placing a broken piece of the statue which fits into the eye. This indicates to the audience that Ofelia see’s that she doesn’t belong here especially with Captain Vidal and wants to find her ‘real family’. Ofelia is introduced to a small fairy who ultimately changes her life on from then.
Through Run Lola Run, our exposition is the phone call Lola has with Manni. Through every journey of her trying to save Manni and failing, she restarts all over again and it always begins with the phone call to Manni telling him that she is coming to save her.

Eternal conflict is a conflict a character has from the outside between another character, their surrounding environment or with society. In Pan’s Labyrinth, the external conflict is Ofelia having conflict on reality, fighting with her imagination to sacrifice and get back ‘home’. During the movie we watch you have conflict between the reality of Captain Vidal and her dying mother or her forgotten family she escaped from. In Run Lola Run, Lola’s conflict is time in saving Manni. She has 20 minutes in order to get to Manni with the money he needs, but she struggles with people and objects getting in her way.



Entry 3

Each film’s plot in under 100 words


Run Lola Run.

We get introduced to the character Lola who faces a series of challenges and events that lead up to her saving her boyfriend Manni who might supposedly get killed if he doesn’t hand in the right amount of money. Which is $100,000. After running past numerous people, in which we get a glance at what they’re future will be like from they’re interaction with Lola, Lola is faced with a got shot in her body. Waking up she sits in the same situation at the start and gets another chance at saving Manni this time having an idea of what to change. But she fails. On her final run she finally gets everything right and Manni is saved along with a bit of extra cash. $100,000.

Pan’s Labyrinth.

We learn about a young princess named Moana who left her life to become mortal. Later on we are introduced to a young girl named Ofelia who travels with her sick and pregnant mother to stay with Captain Vidal. Discovering a fairy, Ofelia is pulled into the world in which she believes she’s the missing princess. Meeting Faun, Ofelia follows three tasks to get back home all while her mother gets worse and the rebels outside the land try claim it back. On Ofelia’s final task, she sacrificed herself and is killed by the Captain. In the end we find out she has returned back to her home and is finally princess again



Entry 2

What is conflict? How is it important to character and narritive development? What conflicts are there? AND which ones are presented in the film?

Conflict is the complications and struggles that usually lead to a disagreement, they challenge the characters into choosing a choice that’s right for them. Conflict is impotant for the development of characters and narritive because it essentially gives meaning to the plot. We see how the character acts and resolves the conflict which contribute to how we think of them.

In Run Lola Run the conflict for Lola is Man vs self. She is conflict between the decisons she makes and we see that through the many replays of trying to save Manni. Each run is different and gets gets slightly better in achieving her goal of saving her boyfriend.

Entry 1 | Tom Tykwer’s Use Of Aspects

How does Tom Tykwer use narritive conventions to develop through aspects like mise-en-scene, visual elements, music, dialogue and manilpulation of time (Flashback, flashforward)?

Tom Tykwer’s narritive conventions uses other elements to help devlop the the story further. The feature costume is used along with the narrative conventions to give a more depth understanding of what the character’s personality are like. They give an insight of what the characters past or future may be like and create the sense of what era of time and living conditions the characters live in. An example of this would be during most of the running sences with Lola we see that her clothes are almost combat like clothes, we especially get shown her red hair which we recognise her from. This costume represents the typical trend of fashion during the 1990’s – 2000, which illustrates to the audience that Lola is seen as your typical young adult. But narritive conventions pull the idea/theme of fighting against time and give a wider idea that Lola could idealy be part of a video game, which the cosume can be identically simliar as well for a typical female video game character.


With mise-en-scene Tom Tykwer uses to this to his advantage by giving away small hints and clues of what struggles Lola will face and if she has a chance of saving Manni in the future. They give a sense of the audience playing alongside Lola as if it were like a video game. We also see that Tykwer sneakily combines mise-en-scen along with manipulation of time with the narrative structure to combust a jam-packed scene that later adds up to Lola’s mistakes through her run to save Manni. The mise-en-scen strategically placed each of upcoming mistakes in plain view and the manipulation of time was later explained for the reason of her mistake.


The music used in the film along with the narrative structure never really changed but that’s what gave the impression of everything happening again when in reality it was at the same place but at a different time. With the constant repeat of the song it seemed as though nothing had changed but yet everything had gone back to the start and was repeating itself.

Though the point of the movie was to focus on your surroundings and what they may hint to, dialogue wasn’t a big deal in the film Run Lola Run. Tykwer used the aspect dialogue carefully throughout each character. We see this when Lola keeps running into different people they would all say a certain line they would eventually hint to what their future would turn out like.

Overall, we see that Tykwer used narrtive structure wiseing to devlop the the aspects of costume, visual elements, dialogue, music and manipulation of time. This was showen in one of his films Run Lola Run, proving that all these aspects help devlop the characters more and create a deapth understanding of the films idea.