Monday, September 17, 2007

What's Good At the Russian Cinema?

Hello Hello again! Ok, I don't have any more crazy Russian soap commercials (although I did find anoher strange one but, whatever) But I do have some information on something even better: Movies! The featured movie for this entry: Ночной дозор "Night Watch".

Ночной дозор is a fantasy/Action/Thriller dealing with vampires, witches,curses, omens, etc. The movie takes place in present day Moscow where there are normal human beings and those with extraordinary powers called "Others" who are divided into "Light" and "Dark" forces. The Others have been trying to resolve a battle that was fought years and years ago so they decided to come to a little agreement where the Light forces are in charge of watching over the night and the Dark forces are supposed to watch the Day. However, during the night, the Dark forces like to roam the streets as vampires (and all other kinds of nasty little creatures) and terrorize the citizens of Moscow while the Light forces keep them in line. The catch is that altough they are supposed to balance out each others powers, there is a prophecy predicting the "coming of The Great Other" who will plunge the world into complete darkness. With that as the backdrop, the movie follows a man named Anton Gorodetsky who is a seer for the Light forces who goes around keeping the Dark Others in their places.

Now, I've sort of lost my taste for fantasy films, and honestly I thought the movie summary sounded really corny and very unoriginal. (Well, my movie summary has been simplified) But I have to say, after watching the trailer the movie looks pretty awesome. Apparently, this film is supposed to be a huge breakthrough for the Russian Film Industry because only foreign made films become blockbusters in Russia these days. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian film industry went into a decline for some time. Until the release of this movie, (which came out in 2004) The Lord of the Rings was the highest grossing film in Russia. Ночной дозор broke Russian box office records by racking in 16.7 million dollars in the motherland alone. Now that may seem like small beans compared to the U.S. Film Industry where the highest grossing film is Titanic (which made $600 million dollars in the U.S. alone), but 16.7 million is big business is Russia. Ночной дозор is also supposed to be the one of the first Russian films to involve high-budget special effects and it set the bar higher for movies to come.

With that all said and done, here's the trailer for the movie:

You also have to keep in mind that this movie is based on of the book with the same title, so naturally there was a sequel called Дневной дозор "Day Watch" and a third film is in the works. This movie was also in limited release here in the U.S. in 2006, and Дневной дозор was in limited release just recently in June. So, you might be able to find these in Blockbuster or something if you look.

1 comment:

Dr. Michael A. Denner said...

grace -- it was a phenomenally successful film at the box office. i watched the first half an hour of the film and found it full of tired conceits and a lot of "gross out" scenes. i actually love horror films and fantasy films, but i couldn't pay attention this film was so boring... i walked out of the theater, and i NEVER do that.

i don't know what it says that such a rotten film got so much attention. it wasn't even very original.

but, that said, my tastes are particular. i have a copy of the the thing here, in my office, with english subtitles. you can borrow it, or we can have a showing of it later this semester.