Born in 1965 in Germany, Tom Tykwer made his
directorial debut with Die Todliche Maria/Deadly Maria (1993).
Winterschl„fer/Winter Sleepers (1997)
Lola Rennt/ Run Lola Run (1998)
Lola e` la ragazza di Manny. Manny le telefona da una cabina. E` disperato.
Un flashback fa vedere cos'e` successo: a Lola hanno rubato il motorino e
cosi` non ha fatto in tempo a raggiungere Manny all'appuntamento. Manny
aveva appena incassato dei soldi in cambio di droga, il suo primo lavoro
per il crudele Ronnie. Sulla metropolitana Manny era stato spaventato da
due poliziotti e si era dimenticato il sacco con i soldi. Aveva fatto in
tempo a scorgere un barbone. E infatti proprio quel barbone si e` preso
il sacco con i soldi. Adesso Manny e` disperato perche' Ronnie lo uccidera`.
Ha venti minuti per trovare centomila marchi. Lola comincia la sua folle
corsa per la citta`. Corre dal padre, e per strada incrocia una vecchia,
un ciclista, un'ambulanza, un amico del padre e cosi` via. Di ciascuno si vede il futuro.
Lola si precipita in banca. Suo padre sta discutendo con l'amante Jutta,
che e` incinta. Lola e` sconvolta, ma ha bisogno dei soldi. Il padre la
butta fuori, rivelandole che non e` neppure sua figlia e che non vuole
piu` saperne della sua famiglia. Manny intanto ha deciso si svaligiare
un supermarket. Lola arriva in tempo a salvarlo da una guardia giurata.
Corrono all'appuntamento, ma la polizia li circonda e un poliziotto
spara inavvertitamente a Lola. Lola sta morendo... ma i due giovani sono
a letto e stanno discutendo malinconicamente.
La scena si ripete dall'inizio. Lola che corre giu` dalle scale, ma
questa volta si scontra con un vicino. Tanto basta per cambiare il futuro
di tutti coloro che incontra (vecchia, ciclista, ambulanza, amico, etc)
compreso quello del padre. Infatti Jutta sta rivelando al padre che e`
incinta di un altro. Lola prende in ostaggio il padre e si fa consegnare
il denaro dalla banca. La polizia ha circondato la banca ma la lascia andare
perche' non ha l'aria del rapinatore. Lola corre e ferma Manny poco prima
che svaligi il negozio, ma l'ambulanza lo travolge. Manny sta morendo...
ma i due giovani sono a letto e stanno discutendo malinconicamente. Lola
riparte, di nuovo di corsa verso la banca. I futuri cambiano di nuovo, e
in particolare l'amico del padre evita l'incidente. Proprio questo amico
va a prendere il padre cosicche' quando Lola arriva e` troppo tardi.
Manny ha trovato il barbone e lo sta inseguendo. Lola, disperata, va a
giocare tutti i suoi soldi al casino` e vince una fortuna. Manny recupera
il sacco dal barbone. Ma il padre di Lola viene coinvolto nell'incidente
che questa volta non era successo. Manny e Lola si ritrovano, tranquilli
e felici. Ma Lola non sa ancora dell'incidente del padre.
La telecamera si muove vorticosamente, con lo stile dei video musicali
e dei cartoni animati. C'e` anche uno spezzone di cartone animato. I
flashback in avanti nel futuro sono ottenuti tramite una rapida sequenza di
Il futuro cambia in combinazione, e Lola prova tutte le combinazioni.
(Il meccanismo e` quello dell'Internet, in cui si naviga all'infinito da
un website all'altro, e quello dei videogame, in cui ogni porta conduce a
un'altra storia. Ogni volta che Lola incontra un passante vediamo sfrecciare
il futuro di quel passante, ma e` ogni volta un futuro diverso, e` un futuro
che si fa e si disfa, proprio come nei videogame).
Ma ogni volta c'e` qualcosa che non va.
La morale del film e` discutibile (un lieto fine per un tossicodipendente
che ha compiuto la sua prima missione) e l'apologo filosofico non e`
Run Lola Run (1999) is a metaphysical essay on destiny. Lola runs all
the time. Her life is a continuous running to avoid disaster. Her life, at the
same time, branches off into the lives of the people she encounters, even if
the encounter lasts only one second. Everything matters. The film has the
feeling of a videogame, thanks to its insistence on time reversal and
thanks to its superposition of cartoonish sequences.
Tykwer fishes in the milieu of petty crime and drug dealing for the perfect
speciman of fate-controlled living being.
If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me.
If Lola was a cartoon
Der Krieger und die Kaiserin/ Princess and the Warrior (2000)
is a fairy tale.
Tykwer's ambigous moralilty promotes a bank robber to the hero of a romantic
novela. The real protagonist, though, is the "princess", whose miserable
life is revealed a bit at a time. From a formidable martyr she metamorphes into
a cynical materialist who only wants to escape that life of charity.
Her selfishness gives new meaning to his life.
Unfortunately, the happy ending ruins the film right when it had reached
an apex of tension and drama.
Meike is a woman who lives in a big house by the sea. She mails a letter
for her friend Sissi. Sissi is a shy and nice nurse in a psychiatric hospital. The patients
love her and the doctors trust her.
Bodo is a young troubled man. He just got a job helping bury people and cries
during his first assignment: burying an old lady. The owner of the funerary
business fires him for his tears.
He lives with his brother, Walter, who has a job as a security
guard in a bank. Bodo was a soldier and still wears a military jacket.
Walter has a plan to get out of that city: rob the bank by digging a tunnel
below his office.
Sissi is lovely and dedicated. She even masturbates one of the patients,
young Steini. She saves Meike's letter till the evening. She doesn't seem
to have anyfriends outside the hospital and rarely gets any letters.
Meike informs her of the death of her (Meike's) mother and asks Sissi for
a favor: go to the bank with such and such documents.
Bodo is chased by some men in uniform through the streets of the cities.
Bodo runs into the same street where
Sissi is helping one of her blind patients cross the street. Bodo jumps on
a truck, thereby distracting the driver. The truck would run over the blind
boy if Sissi did not jump to save him. But Sissi is struck and run over
by the truck. Bodo uses a gunstore run by a friend to lose them and then
comes back to the street where a crowd has gathered around the truck. Bodo
thinks of hiding under the truck and finds Sissi, who is barely alive but
can see him. (We hear Sissi's thoughts, not Bodo's). Bodo realizes that
blood is suffocating her. He makes a hole in her throat, sticks a straw
into it and starts sucking blood. As he sucks blood, she starts breathing
again. When the ambulance finally comes, Bodo goes with her, still sucking
her blood, and at the hospital Sissi would not let go of his hand.
Then Bodo visits his brother in the bank and they discuss the plan.
Later, they open a manhole, walk down into the sewers and reach a room
below Walter's office.
Sissi is released after 53 days.
The doctors tell her it was a miracle that she survived.
She returns to the psychiatric institution where the patients are gathered
to welcome her. But she is in a strange mood: she locks herself in her room
and writes to Meike, apologizing for not having yet gone to the bank and
explaining what happened to her.
Bodo can't sleep because of a storm with thunders. Walter finds him hugging
the stove and crying like a madman.
In the middle of the night, Sissi wakes up. She sits outside with the blind
boy and listens to the storm.
She asks the blind boy for help to find the man who saved her life.
Together, they return to the scene of the accident and Sissi begs the blind
boy to remember what happened. The blind boy hears the door of the gunstore
jingle and points in that direction. But the owner of the gunstore does
not cooperate and asks Sissi and the boy to leave. Sissi sees Bodo in
a picture and finds a way to have the owner tell her his address (the blind
boy fakes a fit and Sissi threatens to accuse the owner of beating him).
Sissi climbs alone to the house and finds Bodo and Walter. But both are very
unfriendly and Bodo is particularly violent and rude. She leaves with tears
in her eyes. Back at the hospital a middle-aged patient, Werner, hits her
in the face and asks her to strap him to a bed. It looks like this happens
often because she calmly straps it to his bed and then goes to her room.
She watches tv alone sitting on her bed. Her life is obviously not very
exciting and terribly lonely.
In the middle of the night, under heavy rain, she decides to run again to
Bodo's house. Walter opens the door and lets her in. Walter tells her that
Bodo lost his wife in an accident at a gas station: he was in the restroom
when the car exploded and his wife died, and mentally he is still in that
restoroom. Bodo gets home and throws Sissi out in the mud.
Sissi tries in vain to explain that he is her only hope, that her life
is miserable, that she keeps dreaming of a romantic event that will change it.
While she walks back to the hospital,
Bodo talks to the ghost of his dead wife, grabs the stove and cries until
Walter wakes him up again.
Sissi finally finds the time to do what Meike asked her. She walks into the
banfinally finds the time to do what Meike asked her. She walks into the
bank and shows the documents to the bank clerks. They explain that she can
open a mailbox and take her to the mailbox.
In the meantime, she has seen Walter walk in. This is the day: Walter helps
two security guards bring in bags of money and then Bodo shows up with a gun.
Bodo orders Walter and the other two to sniff chloroform. Walter only pretends,
then forces the other two.
Sissi has found an object inside the mailbox and is ready to leave.
But one of the guards wakes up, figures out that Walter is in it,
shoots at the alarm and, when Bodo runs back to help Walter, keeps Walter
in check. While the building is evacuated, Bodo drops the gun and faces the
guard. Somehow Bodo convinces the guard not to shoot, gets his gun and runs
with Walter to the tunnel. They would make it if the manager of the bank
did not show up right at that moment. Sissi is behind him and sees him shoot
at Walter. Sissi runs in front of him to keep him from shooting Bodo.
Sissi can't let him kill the man who appeared from nowhere to save and change
her life. Bodo takes the manager's gun and asks Sissi to help him carry the
wounded Walter. They crawl in the tunnel until they reach the manhole
where the gunstore owner is waiting for them. They had to leave the money
behind. Bodo wants to take Walter to the nearest hospital and Sissi stays
with him. After the doctors finally take care of the wounded, Sissi takes
Bodo to the psychiatric institution and hides him in her room.
Sissi has finally time to look at the object she found in the mailbox:
it is a necklace of Meike's mother and has the picture of her. Bodo recognizes
the woman he helped bury. The man who buried her friend's mother saved her
life and she saved his life because her friend's mother had kept this object
in the same bank that his brother decided to rob. A complicated coincidence,
but nonetheless a coincidence.
In the morning, Bodo wakes up and wanders through the psychiatric hospital
passing by patients who stare at him. The tv is talking about the attempted
robbery and announces that Walter is dead. Bodo, in a fit of rage, smashes the
tv and has to be sedated by the staff. When he recovers, Sissi advises him to
pretend he lost his memory so they will keep him at the hospital.
That night Sissi finally has a chance to tell him about her: she was born
in that hospital and lived all her life there. Her mother died while she was
taking a bath and a hairdryer fell in the water; her father is one of the
patients (Werner?). Obviously, she is dying to get a chance to run away and
starts a real life. Outside the patients are jealous of all the attention
that the newcomer is getting from her favorite nurse. Steini is especially
mad. Sissi is annoyed by their curiosity and reacts rudely to a caress from
the blind boy. The blind boy locks himself in a room and starts eating pieces
of glass, bleeding from the mouth. Eventually, the staff breaks in and
saves him, but the tension is high among the patients.
In the meantime, Bodo is telling Sissi
the truth about his wife death: she dropped a cigarette on the gasoline on
purpose, after they had yet another violent argument.
Steini hears the tv saying that she is wanted too. Steini calls the police
pretending to be a member of the staff.
Sissi and Bodo have decided to leave. Sissi asks a nurse for the keys of
the car while Bodo is taking a bath. Steini tries to kill Bodo by throwing
an electric toaster into the bathtub, but Bodo is fast enough to grab it
before it touches the water. A flashback shows how Sissi's mother died in
a similar way: Steini caused that accident. It doesn't take long for Sissi
to realize that Steini is the killer of her mother. Steini runs to the roof
right when the police arrives. As the police realize that Steini is a
patient and as they see that he is on the roof, they forget about the killer
and assume this is just a madman. Sissi is the first to reach him on the
roof. She knows he would never jump. Sissi grabs Bodo's hand and together
they jump from the roof.
If the film had ended here, it would have been a masterpiece. Unfortunately,
Tykwer opted for a happy ending. So the two fall in a pond, get up and run
to the garage, where Sissi's friend helps them drive away. The car has no
gasoline so they have to stop at a gas station, and naturally they stop at
the same gas station of Bodo's nightmare. Bodo sees himself come out of the
restroom and get into the car. The new Bodo has to sit in the back, while
the old Bodo drives the car. Finally, the Bodo in the back stops the Bodo in
the front, gets his off the car and leaves without him. For the first time,
Bodo smiles at Sissi.
They head for Meike's house by the sea.
These last 15 minutes ruin the film.
Tom Tykwer adapted Dave Eggers's novel "A Hologram for the King" (2016)