Bekmambetov himself seems a paragon of the aspirational new Russia. The 46-year-old Kazakh's first film was Peshawar Waltz, a well-received arthouse film about the Afghanistan war. But he then tapped into the capital flooding into the country in the post-Yeltsin era and become Russia's first commercials director, helming more than 600 ads. Later, he fell in with the high priest of cinematic blagging, B-movie producer Roger Corman, and made Gladiatrix, a Gladiator rip-off with Playboy bunnies in a wooden arena outside St Petersburg. Trashy it certainly was, but Bekmambetov was taught valuable lessons by Corman about how to achieve results on a budget, and Day Watch proves he was listening. The results are incoherent, it's true, but Bekmambetov's films are full of fascinating ideas achieved on frugal means by marshalling a vast network of freelancers across Russia. The budget for the first two films was a combined $6m, but they look remarkable, especially Day Watch's climactic scenes of … [Read more...] about The Russians are coming!