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The use of dance music and the synergy of narrative vehicles in Run Lola Run

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Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer, 1998) is unconventional on many levels. Its narrative structure, editing style and use of mixed media are highly ambitious. Director, writer and composer Tom Tykwer had a strong creative vision for the film and wanted to captivate and fully engage the viewer. The underscore consists of prominently featured through-composed dance music. The chosen musical idiom is a pastiche of contemporary dance music, rock and pop, combining hypnotic techno beats with mainstream rock appeal. The cue Running One is analysed with regards to the correlation of music and (non-)diegetic sound, as well as music and visuals. The article considers the effect of dance music on the listener, the chosen musical idiom is described as an ideal choice to have a high level of impact on the target audience. The synergetic relationship of the narrative vehicles in Run Lola Run proves effective in attaining the dramatic expressiveness Tywker envisioned.
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Keywords: German cinema; Gesamtkunstwerk; Tom Tykwer; dance music; film music; narrative vehicles

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Royal College of Music, London.

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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  • The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of music and sound in relation to film and other moving image media. A complex cultural, technological, industrial and artistic phenomenon, sound-with-moving image is a rich area for analysis, investigation and speculation. We encourage writing that is accessible to audiences from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds and disciplines as well as providing a forum for practitioners. The Soundtrack's aim is to nurture this new and expanding area of academic investigation in dialogue with soundtrack producers of all kinds.
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