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Thread: Distinctly Visual Speech - Run Lola Run + The Matrix

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    New Member Shifty Pete's Avatar
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    Cool Distinctly Visual Speech - Run Lola Run + The Matrix

    This is my speech I presented today. I know for sure I got an A on the presentation side, but I'd like some feedback on the content. In hindsight should've left some room for additional elaboration of 'The Matrix', but the speech had a 5 minute limit, and I went slightly over it, cutting off my conclusion :|

    Our question was:

    Powerful images challenge our understanding of ourselves and our world. Explain how your set text (RLR) and ONE related text have challenged your thinking.

    Distinctly Visual Speech
    Peter Link

    Good afternoon my fellow students and teacher(s).

    Our understanding of ourselves and our world can be challenged by powerful images introduced in distinctly visual texts, however the images themselves may be meaningless if not supported by the ideas behind them – the combination of the strong images supported by simple - or complex - ideas are what make the images powerful and possible to provoke our thinking. This is heavily evident in both the 1998 German crime thriller film ‘Run Lola Run’ directed & written by Tom Tykwer, along with one of my personal favourites; ‘The Matrix’; a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film directed by The Wachowski Brothers. Through this, it is clear that film as a text type gives an author specific ability to enhance their ideas and themes through a range of visual techniques - whether the film be set in 1998; depicting a fiery German woman on a desperate dash to save the life of her lover, or over 200 years later; showing the human race ensnared in a digital prison.

    Tykwer has created a distinctively visual text in ‘Run Lola Run’ through the use of a non-linear narrative structure of the film, along with the film being played in ‘real-time’ – 20 minutes within the narrative equates to 20 minutes viewing time. The traditional structure of film has been altered in order to communicate the role of chance in one’s life. This is evident in the three separate narratives, or ‘runs’, which convey the differing outcomes that exist due to Lola’s actions in time and location. Each time, a slight change in the path along Lola’s run causes a significant change in the final outcome, suggesting to the audience the importance of every moment and decision in time. For example, there are remarkably different futures for each of the persons she encounters. We see these scenarios of various characters in fleeting flash-forward cuts. Through these differing outcomes and cinematic techniques, the film emphasizes the importance of chance affecting the outcome as a whole. Tykwer has clearly challenged our understanding of the role that chance plays in one’s life.

    Our understanding of time is that it is a constantly moving entity that cannot be stopped or altered no matter what we do. Me, you, every one of us, we are all living within time’s boundaries. Twyker has communicated the idea that time can be more important than we think. The film opens with an extreme-close up of a pendulum slowly swinging back and forth, panning upward to the fast-ticking clock. The constant, racing ‘tick tock, tick tock’ evolves into a suspenseful techno-orchestral soundtrack, and we see an animated Lola running and being swallowed by various clocks, symbolising powerlessness against time. The combination of these techniques invokes a feeling of suspense within the audience – Twyker has effectively foreshadowed the relevance of time within the film.
    In each of the three runs, there is a constant recurring image of clocks and watches. “Do you have the time?” Lola asks an old woman, yet ironically Lola doesn’t have time to wait around for an answer, and continues running. Lola is seen sprinting in splitscreen parallel editing along with Manni and and an image of a clock. This use of dialogue, symbolism and cinematic technique highlights the utter importance of time, invoking a feeling of urgency within the audience. As a result, Twyker has thus portrayed that time can be more important than we think, therefore challenging our thinking.

    "Time waits for no man, and it won't wait for me." – a quote by The Rolling Stones
    They were right; time doesn’t wait for any man. But it does wait for a woman, and that woman is named Lola. Throughout ‘Run Lola Run’, time is a huge factor – Lola is thrown into an urgent situation where she must come up with 100,000 marks within 20 minutes and deliver it to her boyfriend, Manni, else he will be killed by thugs. Lola tries and fails, yet she refuses her fate – “Stop”, she says, and she restarts from the beginning, just like a video game, as the red bag falls in cross-cutted synchronization with the red phone from the beginning of the film. This may confuse, irritate or delight the audience, as Twyker has challenged our understanding of how time works.

    The Wachowski Brothers have created a distinctly visual text in ’The Matrix’ through the use of strong images supported by mind-boggling ideas and cinematic techniques. The premise of the film is that the year is somewhere around 2199, the entire human race has been enslaved in a digital prison called the matrix by a man-made artificial intelligence which rebelled against its biological makers. Human beings are no longer bred – they are grown in fields to power their mechanoid masters through bio-electricity. There is a small group of humans who free the main character, ‘Neo’ from the matrix, who is the chosen one –”destined to free us all”, as stated by Morpheus, the leader of the group.

    A strong theme introduced in ‘The Matrix’ is the perceived knowledge of reality – Morpheus explains to Neo when they first meet:
    “What is "real"? How do you define "real"? If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain”
    “You’ve felt it your entire life, you don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”
    The Wachowski Brothers’ use of definitive language, simile and metaphor highlights the illusionary world they are in, inviting scepticism and superstition in the audience, provoking our understanding of reality vs illusion.

    In conclusion - by exploring the texts in sufficient depth, it is clear that powerful images, ideas and techniques within both ‘Run Lola Run’ and ‘The Matrix’ have provoked & challenged our thinking & understanding of time, chance, fate, and reality. Thank you for listening to my speech, I hope it has challenged your understanding of the quality of work I am capable of when I want to be.

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    New Member Shifty Pete's Avatar
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    Re: Distinctly Visual Speech - Run Lola Run + The Matrix

    > post essay for critique
    > nobody replies, will probably be plagiarized

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    Junior Member BigBadBader's Avatar
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    Re: Distinctly Visual Speech - Run Lola Run + The Matrix

    well then, free essay i guess.

    tell us what you got
    "The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear."




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    2012 ATAR: 85
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