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Daywatch

Here's the thing -- absolutely, I recommend "Daywatch" as a movie. I really did enjoy it a lot. But I would strongly suggest that you rent "Nightwatch" and watch it first. Because then, the last 20 minutes of the movie *might* involve a *bit* less "... Quoi?"

Nightwatch and Daywatch are modern Russian fantasy films (magic in a modern setting, mostly). They're subtitled (with some really interestingly *active* subtitles, too). Right now, in the Boston area, they're playing at Kendall, but also at Waltham (!).

Despite the occasional feeling I had of being lost (telepresence apologized afterwards for the movie depending more on the previous one than he thought it would; but I will say that they put an English-language "previously on..." sequence at the start of the movie, and that *did* help me immensely), I just enjoyed the movie a lot overall. It was so... so... RUSSIAN.

What I mean is... okay, as Telepresence and I were discussing afterwards, a lot of us are actually used to watching Asian films nowadays; wuxia, Hong Kong cinema, Japanese films, anime, etc. It's not that those films never seem exotic any more; I think it's more that their exoticness has started to take on its own familiarity, and lack of surprise. And that is helped not only by setting and design, but in the faces of the live-action films' casts. (When I say "exotic", by the way, what I mean is, "not deeply rooted within the traditions of my own culture and upbringing, so that I don't have an almost unconscious feeling of identification with the story elements".)

A Russian film is just as exotic/alien, but you're still watching a bunch of pasty white people (speaking a different language, sure), with the occasional Asian person thrown in. To me (who has watched very few Eastern European films), it was all very subtly unexpected. The actors don't look American/Hollywood, nor do they look British. The settings -- the city, the apartments, everything -- don't look familiar. The underlying concept of the movies (sort of... rival "faerie courts" with an ancient truce between them, and the watchers who monitor them) is kind of familiar but everything had a unique spin to it, much more looking-towards-Asia (there's a big sequence at the start of the film involving Tamerlane attacking Samarkand -- and by the way the director's first name is Timur, so, hah!).

Just... cool. See it, if you like fantasy, but you sometimes feel like you have European-Fantasy fatigue.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
elishavah
Jun. 16th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
It's out?! Yay! Will have to find it around here...oh, damn, I was hoping it would be at the closer theater, but it is accessible. Anyway, have you seen Night Watch now? I loved it for just the reasons you said you loved Day Watch. Plus, it's gorgeous.
eregyrn
Jun. 17th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen Nightwatch *yet*, but probably will within the next weekend or so. Daywatch is certainly *very* pretty, so if Nightwatch is similar, bonus!

Apparently there is a 3rd book, and a 3rd planned movie.
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eregyrn
Jun. 17th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
gourmetspam
Jun. 17th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You're still doing great at 30 ;) I added you to my friends list so I can snoop in on your life. Hope that's ok, and hope you get piles of fantastic presents!
eregyrn
Jun. 17th, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
*At 30*??? *snort*

Hey there! Yes, I've been meaning to friend you. *goes to do so*

Everyone will be COMPLETELY UNSURPRISED that I got bento boxes for my birthday!
gourmetspam
Jun. 20th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC)
Bento is no suprise, but still a good gift
radiotelescope
Jun. 18th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
The movies (and the books, which I also recommend, although there's a clear case of Movie Plot Divergence) are particularly Russian in their... well, the Dark and the Light are these gangs. Kind of like governments but kind of like mafia. And they're constantly trading favors. Big favors, little favors, dirty favors, favors with poison in.

It seems to fit.

Also, my friends who have been to Moscow say that all Muscovites drive exactly like that.
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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )