Tom Tykwer - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Tykwer



Touted as the next major German director, Tom Tykwer made his international breakthrough with the hit Run Lola Run (1998).



A movie fan and autodidact, Tykwer made his first Super-8 film at age 11. Undeterred by his failure to gain admission to Germany's film schools, he entered the film industry in his early twenties, working variously as a projectionist, production assistant, script supervisor, and assistant director. After directing several short films, Tykwer made his feature debut with Deadly Maria (1993). Scripted and scored by Tykwer as well, Deadly Maria became a hit in Germany and earned the first-time auteur several prizes. Seeking to maintain his creative control, Tykwer co-founded the production company X-Filme Creative Pool in 1994 before writing, directing, and scoring his second feature, Winter Sleepers (1997), a drama about the troubled relationships between several snowbound characters.



Tykwer finally made his international name, however, with his third feature, Run Lola Run. An eclectically shot time/space game, Run Lola Run envisioned three different versions of punkette Lola's desperate dash to get 100,000 marks to her drug dealer boyfriend in 20 minutes, revealing how the slightest change can make all the difference. Tykwer's pounding techno score and kinetic camerawork, and star Franka Potente's flame-red hair, enhanced the passionate energy of Lola's quest and turned the film into an unabashedly fun, stylish ride. A film-festival favorite at Sundance and Venice, Run Lola Run became a blockbuster in Germany (inspiring a mini-fad for Lola-colored hair) and an international arthouse success. But Tykwer's eagerly awaited follow-up, The Princess and the Warrior (2000), was less well received on the festival circuit. Though an engagingly original tale of romantic adversity, the sometimes-dragging film was ultimately a victim of comparisons to its hyper-kinetic predecessor.



As Lola engendered herself in American celebrity alongside Matt Damon in the big-budget action extravaganza The Bourne Identity, Tykwer moved further away from his frantic classic with his adaptation of the late Krzysztof Kieslowski's meditative drama Heaven. Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz (co-scripters of the seminal Red, White, and Blue) co-authored three additional scripts just before Kieslowski's 1996 death, entitled Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory and loosely adapted from Dante Alighieri's three canticles of the Divine Comedy. The Heaven segment tells the tale of a mentally scarred woman whose act of revenge goes horribly awry.



Though it could be argued that risk-taking directors such as Tykwer will inevitably meet failure from time to time, it remained to be seen if he could re-capture the infectious energy and originality of his early success. After all, one can hardly imagine a more ambitious task than inheriting a project from the genius Kieslowski and seeing it through to fruition, no matter how gifted the protégé. In the end, the final picture's merits and flaws remain to be seen (though it gained increased social relevance following the terrorist acts of 9/11). If Heaven, upon its October 4, 2002 stateside issue, didn't even begin to approach the levels of the Three Colors segments in terms of critical bravura, and failed to become an arthouse sensation, it did glean a surprisingly large number of enthusiastic notices in the American press, particularly from Stephen Holden, who raved, "Mr. Tykwer and Kieslowski are conceptually in accord. Here the clinical, stopwatch precision of Mr. Tykwer's explorations of synchronicity and Kieslowski's warmer, metaphysically dreamy speculations about the role of chance and coincidence in human affairs synchronize into a film whose formal elegance is matched by its depth of feeling." And The Miami Herald's Rene Rodriguez observed, "If Heaven doesn't quite achieve the transcendent power that Kieslowski might have attained, it comes

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
70% A Hologram for the King
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2016
No Score Yet Something Necessary
  • Producer
2013
66% Cloud Atlas
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet Nairobi Half Life
  • Producer
2012
No Score Yet Soul Boy
  • Director
2010
No Score Yet Soul Boy
  • Producer
  • Director
2010
59% The International
  • Director
  • Producer
2009
No Score Yet Germany 09: 13 Short Films About the State of the Nation
  • Director
2009
87% Paris Je T'aime
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2007
58% Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2006
No Score Yet Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin - Von der Schönhauser Allee nach Hollywood
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Underexposure
  • Producer
2005
No Score Yet True
  • Director
2004
No Score Yet Soundless
  • Producer
2004
74% Heaven
  • Director
2002
61% Der Krieger und die Kaiserin (The Princess and the Warrior)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2000
No Score Yet Absolute Giganten
  • Producer
1999
93% Run Lola Run
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1999
No Score Yet Deadly Maria
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1999
76% Winter Sleepers
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1997
No Score Yet Das Leben ist eine Baustelle. (Life Is All You Get)
  • Screenwriter
1997

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
75% Sense8
2015
  • Director

Quotes from Tom Tykwer's Characters

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