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Distinctively Visual Essay Sample

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Throughout life the decisions we make, the chances we take result in consequence, whether that be positive or negative, shaping the way a person lives life. Tom Tykwer’s film ‘Run Lola Run’ and Dorthea Mackellar’s poem ‘My Country’. Both convey the impact and effect of situations and encounters have on a person. Run Lola Run by Tom Tykwer’s post-modern film incorporates several effective elements to convey numerous ideas and themes. Tykwer implements numerous motifs such as clocks to emphasise the importance of time which is immediately eminent in the opening sequence. The audience observes the large and dominating pendulum of the totem like clock swinging loudly from side to side. Making in immediate to the audience that time will play a vital role in the story line. Time is significant with the theme of chance within the film. Chance is represented by the series of coincidences that occur randomly or without the pre-determined plan throughout the film. It further proves that a small change in a person’s actions or timing can alter the fate of themselves and or others linking to Lola and Manni’s destiny and fate.

Within the film the protagonist, Lola is conveyed as if she is in a game like situation on mission to save her boyfriend, introducing the idea of game theory. She is portrayed as being super human with power like features. When her screams shatter glass, and control the game of black jack in the casino. Her red hair symbolising her as powerful, rebellious heroine of the “game”. The idea of life is a game is further conveyed with the use of animation when Lola begins each of her three chances to succeed in her mission. Further reinforcing that chance is ultimately vital for Lola to make correct decisions and succeed. However, time is still the perceived the most powerful source, with the reoccurring motif of the clock. With the use of low angle shots of the clock reinforcing it as being the higher power, and superior. The most significant incorporation of time is the use of the split screen, where Lola and Manni appear within the screen and a large clock arises from the bottom, articulating the few seconds they have left and creating suspense.

Each of Lola’s runs represent Lola with the same situation, however it’s the decisions and interactions along the way which create small changes in each of her segments that result in her outcome. We also observe changes occur to other characters involved in the film too that come in contact with Lola along her mission. Tykwer uses the use of flashback and montage to convey how the interaction Lola has on each stranger impacts their lives in future. These flash forwards alter in each of Lola’s runs. The theme of chaos is symbolised with the use of spirals shown at the beginning of each of Lola’s run the spiralling staircase representing the chaos that awaits Lola and the difficult choices Lola must make in the process of her upcoming run (mission). Also Tykwer cleverly uses the name ‘Spiral Bar’ which is where Manni makes his first phone call to Lola, confused about the events that took place the day before. The spiral conveys his confusion to the audience as the logo of the bar (a spiral) is seen hanging above is head.

Love is also an important theme conveyed by Tykwer as it becomes evident within the first scence the extreme extents Lola is willing to go to help and save Manni. And the determination and ambition she has to do so, symbolised by her running in all three scenes. The connection Lola and Manni share is further conveyed when they are able to communicate through the glass at the convenient store. Also relating to Lola as being super human when she is telepathically trying to communicate with Manni to just wait she is almost there. The reoccurring use of red in this case is used to symbolise their love. With the use of flashback of a red tinted scene between Lola and Manni portrays to the audience an intimate moment between the couple as they talk about their feelings as they are in each other’s embrace. The use of close up in this scene emphasise the passion and emotion between the two.

Dorothea Mackeller’s poem My Country has closely relatable themes and techniques to Tykwers film which are used to portray the theme of chance and love however in a different aspect. With the Mackeller’s use of personification of the Australian landscape it allows the audience to form perception on the love and passion that Mackeller feels for Australia as if it were human. Mackeller firstly introduces the idea of Australias distinctiveness in the first two opening stanzas. By Juxtaposing Englands ‘grey – blue distance, brown streams and soft dim skies’. In comparison to Australia’s landscape which is depicted as ‘A land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains.’ This is immediately evident to the audience that Australia is full of “life” it isn’t just a lifeless country full of endless desert plains. The personification of the two countries portrays Australia to be chaotic, wild and crazy.

And England as dull, boring and predictable. Mackeller continues to evoke the audience to view Australian as a person when then continues to throughout the stanzas refer to Australia as she or her: ‘Her pitiless blue sky’. Conveying that nature is a woman capable of love and nurture but also of harsh punishment of Australian people, flora and fauna. Thus making it evident to the audience of the theme of love, that Mackeller feels a strong passion for the unpredictability of life in the landscape of Australia. And the power of nature as the core elements that are beautiful in strong contrast to England landscape. Further conveyed in stanza five ‘she pays us back threefold’ revealing that after chaos and unpredictable challenges – severity of each season. Ultimately Mackeller has endless love for the land.

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