Archive for Night Watch

Wanted: Timur Bekmambetov

Posted in Cinema with tags , , , on July 2, 2008 by davehurwitz

Hey, you!

Yes, you. Come a little closer. A little closer. Don’t worry, I won’t bite. That’s better. Have you seen that movie Wanted yet? Yep, that’s right, the one with Angelina Jolie shooting from the hood of the red sports-car. And that guy from Atonement. And Morgan Freeman, too. Right. What did you think? You liked it? Good. That’s very good. Now we’re getting somewhere.

It was kind of unusual, wasn’t it? Full of strange visuals. Like that’s guy’s face outlined in shattered glass when he jumped through the window. Or the letters of the smashed keyboard spelling out ‘fuck you’ as they flew by the camera. There were some pretty awesome stunts, too, huh? Stuff you’ve never seen done before? Like the Atonement guy getting sucked into the passenger door of the sports car during that chase. Or Angelina making that bus flip and then driving over the side of it. Pretty cool, huh?

Wanna see more?

Well, friend, let me introduce you to Timur Bekmambetov, the director of Wanted. What’s that? Yes, I know, the name sounds foreign. Timur’s from Russia. Well, Kazakhstan, actually. Wait a minute now! Don’t walk away. You’re not one of those people who hates to read subtitles, are you? Shit, you are? Hold on, hold on. I’ll make it worth your while, I promise. C’mon man, I got the goods here, I swear. That’s better.

Now then, my friend, this is Night Watch, the flick that made Timur famous in Russia and got him his shot at Hollywood. It’s based on a book by another Russian dude, Sergei Lukyanenko. Don’t sweat it, friend, the book’s available in English. What’s it about? Well, there are these people living among us who have supernatural powers, the Others, and they’re divided into Light and Dark. For hundreds of years, both sides have observed a truce that prohibits outright bloodshed. This doesn’t stop them from jacking with each other of course. There’s this one Light Other who…

What’s that? Yeah, I guess it does sound sort of like to Wanted. You’ll notice a lot of similarities, really. Timur really digs flies. And murky industrial spaces. And carcasses. It’s all about butchered animals with this guy. And you know the crazy Russian? The rat guy? That’s Konstantin Khabensky. He plays Anton Gorodetski, the main character in Night Watch. Don’t worry, he can do stuff other than act nuts. Honest. And hey! Keep your eye out for that pink rose stick-shift ball.

One more thing. I know you’re gonna think I’ve lost it, but Night Watch has the most kick-ass subtitles ever seen on film. They swell and pop when Anton’s vampire neighbor screams at him. They dissolve in bloody swirls when his son hears voices. They flicker like the dieing fluorescent lights and bubble like Anton’s bloody lungs. Whoever created these things is a mad fucking genius. They don’t just translate the dialog. They show you the full flavor of the words. They become a part of the film itself.

Sold yet? You should be. This is one of those movies that changes the way films are made. Sets a new standard. Go rent it already. And don’t you dare watch it in English.

Dave Hurwitz