Symbolism is used in film to imply thoughts, feelings, or ideas in the characters that the director does not want to state outright through speech or action. They also help the viewer to understand the essence of the conflict and action. Often these symbols are not obvious, but hidden in the background and only picked up by the subconscious mind. Effective symbolism can change the entire atmosphere of the film and thereby alter the viewer’s perspective of it. In the film “Run Lola Run” the director uses certain recurring images to give the viewers a better understanding of the character’s feelings, the conflict and action. The images that are used most often are spirals, squares, and circles. The image of the spiral is used in the film to represent confusion and desperation.
It is used in scenes in which a character is unsure of what to do or is puzzled about what is going to happen next. The spiral is used to imply Manni’s confusion about the events of the day prior to his call to Lola while he is outside of the Spiral Bar. The logo of the bar, a spinning spiral that hangs above the entrance, is seen above Manni’s head as he makes his frenzied call to Lola. The spiral helps the view . . .
Contrary to the square, the circle serves to represent the important role of time in the film. Without the use of symbolism in “Run Lola Run” it would not be considered an artistic film, but probably just a movie. By the time she reaches the bank, she is seen in front of a door with a grid pattern on it. The third shows the top of a clock with its ominous minute hand only one tick away from the twelve and the completion of the full circle of time. Because he has moved from the place in which we had seen him each time before (the phone booth) it is an indication that his task is no longer to wait for Lola but to solve the problem on his own.
The second shows Lola running with the large concrete squares of a building rushing by behind her. Each block of sidewalk that she runs from there is an indication that she is getting closer and closer to the place in the city where she can find Manni. The bank, in which her father is an important man, is her most obvious way of coming up with the money. This shows that Lola is growing closer to Manni and therefore closer to solving the problem that is troubling her. The squares represent the different places in the city in which Manni and Lola are. The spirals dual nature is an effective way of portraying thecharacters’ feelings about a certain subject. Run Lola Run, Tom Twyker, 1996