Lola versus The World

For those of you not familiar with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, it’s a 2010 film starring Michael Cera, based on a series of comics by the same title. The plot is boy meets girl plus the hero’s journey, with a healthy amount of comedy about music and nerd culture mixed in.

On to my point, though, Scott Pilgrim uses a lot of comic book-style animation and a lot of editing techniques that reflect those of Run Lola Run. More specifically, the use of an eye-level closeup on Lola’s face while she thinks about who can help her and the phone falls slowly to the receiver. I can see in my mind’s eye a very similar montage occurring in Scott Pilgrim, when Scott needs to think fast to get out of a bad situation, and punctuated by something like the phone hitting the receiver, or a piece of trash being tossed behind him to land in a garbage can perfectly.

The use of animation when Lola runs down the stairs and in the opening credits also seems to have inspired Scott Pilgrim. Every time Scott’s love interest Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a flashback or explains something about about a person from her past, the film shows textless comic book panels, with her narrating. They were stills, rather than animated, but that still seems to have pulled from Lola with the flashforward clips of people that Lola bumps into.

Scott Pilgrim also makes a lot of similar choices with editing and framing. Shots at weird angles, time dilation to increase suspense, time compression to get to the action, lots of fast cuts during more intense scenes with high-tempo music, etc.

It was not received nearly as well as Lola, but it certainly seems to run in the same vein. It was just a comparison that I couldn’t help making as I watched.

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