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Sunday April 21st 2024

Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run) | 1999

Lola Rennt location: Lola's apartment: 13-14 Albrechtstrasse at Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin
Lola Rennt location: Lola’s apartment: 13-14 Albrechtstrasse at Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin

Director Tom Tykwer brings an inventively videogame sensibility to this snappy, breathless thriller filmed in Berlin, which throws in a handful of sly references to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

The eponymous Lola (Franka Potente) has 20 minutes to find and deliver 100,000 marks to her desperate boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu).

Tykwer, though, plays fast and loose with Berlin’s geography. Lola’s apartment is 13-14 Albrechtstrasse at Schiffbauerdamm, just across the Spree from Friedrichstrasse Station in the Mitte district (behind Berthold Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble theatre).

Boyfriend Manni loses the bag of money at Deutsche Oper subway station, way to the west in Charlottenburg. He calls Lola from a phone box at the junction of Tauroggener Strasse and Osnabrücker Strasse just north of Schloss Charlottenburg (U-bahn: Mierendorffplatz), but you won’t be able to make a phone call here. The box was added for the movie, as was the ‘Vortex’ sign (one of the film’s references to Vertigo) and the clock.

Lola Rennt location: Tauroggener Strasse at Osnabrucke Strasse, Berlin
Lola Rennt location: Manni in the phonebox: Tauroggener Strasse at Osnabrücker Strasse, Berlin

You can, though, shop at the Spar grocery store on the southwest corner, held up by Manni in the first version of events.

Lola Rennt location: Spar, Tauroggener Strasse, Berlin
Lola Rennt location: the supermarket hold-up: Spar, Tauroggener Strasse, Berlin

Lola heads for her father’s ‘Deutsch Transfer Bank’, just a short way to the south of her apartment, but when she crosses the Spree, she uses the quaintly turretted and covered Oberbaumbrücke in the far east of the city, a pre-Wende crossing point into East Berlin (U-bahn: Schlesisches Tor or U-bahn-S-bahn: Warschauer Strasse). This is the bridge from which Liam Neeson's cab plunges in 2011 thriller Unknown, and you can it see again in 2015 TV spin-off, Spooks: The Greater Good. The techie's loft, where Bourne (Matt Damon) has to get a memory stick unlocked in 2016's Jason Bourne, stands alongside the southern end of the bridge.

Lola Rennt location: Oberbaumbrucke, Berlin
Lola Rennt location: Lola runs... the Oberbaumbrücke, Berlin

In no time at all, she’s back on Friedrichstrasse, chasing over the Französische Strasse U-Bahn station before turning into Behrenstrasse and on to Bebelplatz. Bebelplatz, formerly Opernplatz, is the vast open square in front of Humboldt University where an imaginative below-ground installation of empty shelves commemorates the notorious Nazi book-burning of 1933. 39 Behrenstrasse, on the square’s south side, was dressed to be the bank.

Lola Rennt location: Behrenstrasse at Bebelplatz, Berlin
Lola Rennt location: Lola meets her father at the ‘bank: Behrenstrasse at Bebelplatz, Berlin

The stylish square, seen from above in the first two versions but finally from ground level in the third, is Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin’s most beautiful – and magnificently restored – squares, a couple of blocks to the south.

Lola Rennt location: Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin
Lola Rennt location: Lola crosses the square: Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

Lola is almost hit by a truck on Unter den Linden, at Hinter dem Giesshaus just to the northeast of Bebelplatz, before spotting the ‘casino’, where she finally wins enough money to solve her problems.

Lola Rennt location: Deutsches Historisches Museum in the Zeughaus, Unter den Linden, Berlin
Lola Rennt location: Lola wins... the Deutsches Historisches Museum in the Zeughaus, Unter den Linden, Berlin

Although the interior is a government building, with the addition of a hastily improvised version of the ‘Carlotta Valdes’ portrait from Vertigo, the exterior is the Deutsches Historisches Museum in the Zeughaus (the old Arsenal building), Unter den Linden 2 at Oberwallstrasse.

And in minutes, Lola arrives at Tauroggener Strasse for the third, final and happy denouement.