Tykwer. It is all about 1998’s Run Lola Run as far as Tom Tykwer’s resume for this list. It isn’t just the end result of the brilliant film—it is just how DIRECTED that film is. It is 80 minutes of a physical cinematic jolt. Both Tykwer’s follow-up efforts show there is talent there- but make no mistake- he’s here on this list because of that one singular achievement. The Wachowskis seem like the driving force behind Cloud Atlas and Heaven was supposed to be the first in a new trilogy from Kieslowski (with all due respect to Tykwer- he’s no Kiewslowski) so I have a few authorship issues with a couple films here- that hurts. In retrospect, the attempt from Tykwer to show he had a curveball (The Princess and the Warrior) and a change-up (Heaven) seems like a faulty strategy. He should have leaned into the aesthetics bonanza and adrenaline rush kinetics of his greatest work.
Best film: Run Lola Run. Fate, time, a regimented formal structure, a boisterous use of color and music. This is a feast for the senses— a cinematic sonic boom.
total archiveable films: 4
top 100 films: 0
top 500 films: 0
top 100 films of the decade: 1 (Run Lola Run)
most overrated: Not a thing for Tykwer. . Only Run Lola Run shows up on either of the TSPDT consensus lists- overall top 1000, extra 1000 or the 21st century list of the top 1000. Lola isn’t overrated- it’s underrated.
most underrated : We’re decades removed from 1998 — #1252 (TSPDT ranking) isn’t embarrassing bad- but they’ve made room for 10 other 1998 films in the top 1000– overdue for making room for Run Lola Run, too.
gem I want to spotlight : Heaven. I saw this twice in 2003—I need to revisit. Just because it isn’t up to what Kieslowski would have done with it- doesn’t mean it doesn’t warrant a better fate and close study.
- You could write 1000 words here on the stylistic tools on display in Run Lola Run– but as I said above, Twyker doesn’t carry them over to the rest of his films. His work with color (not just the color red, but the formal interludes), jump cut editing, splicing in animation, fast-paced tracking shots – all put together into a perfect jigsaw puzzle of a film
- love stories with fate as the driving theme
- Danny Boyle’s kineticism in Run Lola Run– like Trainspotting meets Memento (this is two years before Memento of course) meets De Palma (split screens, extreme close-ups, overhead shots)
- There is an overt homage to Volker Schlöndorff’s 1979 film The Tin Drum with the screaming of Franka Potente in Run Lola Run
- Run Lola Run
- Cloud Atlas
- The Princess and the Warrior
By year and grades
|1998- Run Lola Run||HR/MS|
|2000- The Princess and the Warrior||R|
|2012- Cloud Atlas||R|
*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film
MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film
HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film
R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives