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Set in contemporary Moscow, "Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor)" revolves around the conflict and balance maintained between the forces of light and darkness -- the result of a medieval truce between the opposing sides. As night falls, the dark forces battle the super-human "Others" of the Night Watch, whose mission is to patrol and protect. But there is constant fear that an ancient prophecy will come true: that a powerful "Other" will rise up, be tempted by one of the sides, and tip the balance plunging the world into a renewed war between the dark and light, the results of which would be catastrophic. "Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor)" is the first installment of a trilogy based on the best-selling sci-fi novels of Sergei Lukyanenko entitled Night Watch, Day Watch and Dusk Watch.
The NIGHT WATCH universe is adapted from the first novel of Sergei Lukyanenko's trilogy that has marked the recent history of the Russian literature. Composed of "Night Watch", "Day Watch" and "Dusk Watch", each novel has sold half a million of copies and, since the release of the movie in July 2004, two millions and half of copies of the trilogy have been sold.
Kazakh origin, director Timur Bekmambetov is a kind of Russian Ridley Scott, influenced by James Cameron, Wachowski brothers and Quentin Tarantino. His second movie, THE ARENA (2001), shot in St-Petersbourg, has been coproduced by Roger Corman. NIGHT WATCH constitutes his third movie. Visually, Bekmambetov has chosen to establish a rupture with the Russian traditional cinema, most of the time too slow. This one innovates, it is fast, energetic, filmed in short plans and uses the same means of expression that american films. But as producer Konstantin Ernst says : "Night Watch is first of all a Russian movie and it is important to underline it.". The film is in any case an interesting enough compilation attempt of the Russian reality and American movies. "The book largely helped me to unite the two universes.", explains the director.
Ernst and Maximov (the other producer) had beforehand wished the novels to be adapted in four episodes of a hour long and planned to distribute them in TV mini-series. The firsts rushes sought, the potential of the project has rapidly appeared incompatible with the small screen and they decided to adapt the totality for the big one. Shot in 90 days in more of 200 Moscow places, it presents a modern and unique vision of Moscow : a colored city full of life. To archeive the 400 special effects of the film, all infrastructures of the country have been put to contribution. Thus, it is 45 independent studios that have worked in cooperation to create the necessary digital effects.
As Bekmambetov, first skeptical to a fantastic film project, Ernst is now the most fervent defender and sees the film, he describes as "the encounter between Tarkovsky and the Wachowski brothers", as "the iron of lance of the new wave of the Russian cinema.". This literary trilogy has thus become a film trilogy whose ambition is to rival with Matrix (1999 - 2003) or other Lords of the Rings (2001 - 2003). Let's wish that the two next sequels, DAY WATCH (2006) and DUSK WATCH (2007), know how to convince some.