Sync or Swim: Run Blue Man Run

In the niche culture of movie syncs you get a rush when you go out of your way and find something, based on a hunch and some guessing, that works better than you imagined. Case in point, Run Lola Run and Blue Man Group’s debut album, “Audio”. How I got to that conclusion really started with The Matrix but that’s another story for another time. It was from that experiment using BMG and The Matrix that I figured it would work for another film. Recalling the techno score for RLR, I figured it was similar to “Audio” and gave it a shot.

Start both sources at 0:00. Loop the album once so that it finishes the movie.

Here’s the thing with this particular sync. The album is entirely instrumental. Normally, I would discuss what lyric corresponded to the action on screen but since it’s all music it’s not that easy. Really, it’s more about the tempo and beats and their relation to the editing as well as the mood. It’s one sync where it has to be seen in order to understand what’s going on.

Some of the song titles refer to the Mandelbrot set, commonly used for fractals. While the term “fractal” isn’t mentioned, spirals are a motif found in the film.

Act I begins with “TV Song”. A higher-pitched drum keeps in beat when the X Filme Creative Pool logo appears, beating as the letters in “Creative Pool” are spelled out. More instruments are included when the pendulum swings by for a second time. The drums become intense when the pendulum stops swinging.

“Opening Mandelbrot” is nearly the same length as the title, or “opening”, sequence.

“Synaesthetic” plays throughout the exposition over the telephone.

“Utne Wire Man” is the start of the first run. The music is somewhat mellow as Lola tries to figure out who she can get the money from. The music increases in intensity when the camera zooms into the television and we see the animated Lola running down the spiral stairs. It can also be said that the “whoosh” sounds by some of the skinnier PVC pipes in the song act like Lola’s arms when she runs.

“Rods and Cones” plays during the dialogue between her father and his lover. The title, while it refers to parts of the eye, can be interpreted as gender representations through shape. At the 1:40 mark of the song, the nuns and bike guy appear. The conversation between Lola and the bike guy is edited to the music. The music slows down as Manni leaves the phone booth and tries to return the phone card to the blind woman (not using the rods and cones in her eyes).

“Tension 2” depicts the tension between two people (Lola and her dad) at the bank.

“Mandelgroove” takes place in the last few minutes before Lola enters the store. When this track plays, turn up the volume on the music because it’s quiet.

“PVC IV” is the grocery store robbery and street standoff.

“Club Nowhere” takes place in the red room. It’s just some place out of nowhere for all we know. Halfway through the song is the start of the second run.

“Drumbone” features more nuns, the return of bike guy, and the car crash. It ends when Lola interrupts the meeting between her father and his lover.

“Shadows” can refer to the shadowy lies that her father reveals.

“Cat Video” takes place when Lola points the gun at her father.

“Klein Mandelbrot” is the last part of the second run.

“Endless Column” is the second entry into the red room. The music is rather somber at first as Lola and Manni talk about death. Halfway through the song, the third run begins. Animated Lola runs down the seemingly endless flight of stairs. Real Lola runs past the columns under the train tracks.

Act II begins with “TV Song” as the guy with the bag and bike guy at a food joint talk.

“Opening Mandelbrot” has Lola missing her father as he leaves the bank.

The first beat of “Synaesthetic” happens when the guy on the moped flips over during the car crash and dies. Lola runs in time to the music. This is also when she starts to play roulette.

“Utne Wire Man” is the last roulette play as Lola cashes in her chips. The guy with the bag is caught by Manni right when the music’s intensity increases. The buzzes at the end correspond to the activity in the ambulance.

“Rods and Cones” ends the third run as “Tension 2” finishes the credits.

Since there are repeated variations throughout the album, it does blend together after a while and turn into something indistinguishable. These variations, however, complement the variations in the runs that take place in the movie. I’m glad that this worked out as well as it did; hopefully, this can be listed as an official sync someday.

Sync grade: B

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