Runaway success

Actress FRANKA POTENTE explains how Run Lola Run sets the pace for German Cinema. Words: Miles Fielder

Western cinema audiences are notoriously resistant to subtitled films. This is particularly true in America, but there, and elsewhere around the globe, a low budget arthouse movie from Germany is making commercial and critical waves - director Tom Twyker’s third film, Run Lola Run. International success can be attributed partly to what Hollywood calls a ’high concept’: a woman has twenty minutes to raise 100,000

'She's not a model running, not an athlete. You see a real

butt, right?’

Franka Potente

marks to save the life of her boyfriend. The action is presented in three different, hyper-stylised, super-fast- paced versions. Beyond that, audiences are identifying with the film’s heroine, Lola, a resourceful young Berliner.

'She’s not a model running, not an

athlete. You see a real butt, right?’ says the film's star, Franka Potente. 'She’s a normal woman. She's also weak and she has fear, but that really makes her strong and everybody would like to be like that. Lola embodies something that everybody longs for - love - and that love is put to a test. People really relate to that. Lola could really run in London, Tokyo, New York - it doesn't matter where she runs.’

And Lola runs a lot - for 60% of the film’s, ahem, running time according to Potente (which is a mere 5% of what was filmed over a 32 day shoot). On the surface, it would seem a thankless role. ’The question is: how can I tell the people about my character if I’m just running?', asks Potente. 'All the expressions have to be in the running; all the fear, all the stress, all the longing, all the desperation. And I can’t talk and I can't express so much in my face.’

Potente first read the script in 30 minutes flat. 'Reading it was as fast as watching the film,’ she recalls. ’What I liked was that I didn't have a concrete image of Lola in my head; I had a feeling about the emotional impact and the stressful situation she was in. When I met Torn, we talked about finding a look that was Berlin. It’s very ordinary, but also tells a lot about her character, like that she’s rebellious towards her parents. I thought that it was very important that you see a lot of skin, because

she's very vulnerable. We also talked about the style of running. We didn’t want it to be very stylish. It's like a little machine that’s working with the arms and legs. You don't doubt that she’s giving everything to rescue her boyfriend.’

Unsurprisingly, Run Lola Run's success has brought Potente offers

The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union


directed by Irina Brown

designed by Bunny Christie Thu 14 Oct - Sat 6 Nov 7.30pm

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preview Fl

Hoofin’ it: Franka Potente in Run Lola Run

from America, all of which have failed to impress. Instead, she's currently making another film with Twyker, The Princess And The Warrior, which, you can rest assured, will be a very modern spin on the fairytale.

Run Lola Run opens Fri 22 Oct. See review.


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