Shadows and Fog
With a serial strangler on the loose, a bookkeeper wanders around town searching for the vigilante group intent on catching the killer.
But of COURSE this was considered a disaster when it came out- back when Allen was cranking out something awesome every year, alternating between probing psychological dramas and charming nostalgia pieces (or some combination of same), this wasn't what people wanted or expected from him. Yet couched within a grainy, b/w, soundstage-set homage to 1920s-era Germany full of Kurt Weill music and nods to M and LITTLE MAN, WHAT NOW? is a movie as infused in the Allen sensibility as anything he's done. It's just that the surface is so different that it forces Allen to recontextualize such typically Woody themes as Jewish paranoia, personal inadequacy, and a inquiry into the meaning of what it means to be an artist.…
Move along, no complaints here...
What an odd little film.
Like many Allen-films I found it amusing...but not in a hilarious way. Allen is neurotic as usual. Not too much of a plot though.
Lovely cinematography, obviously inspired by german expressionism. Makes me wish I had a copy in HD.
Probably not for everyone, as it is pretty episodic. But great actors (many familiar faces).
Wish more directors had the balls to make movies that looks like this these days. I'm fairly fed up with the visual style of the likes of Michael Bay.
Very ambitious. Not always successful but still enjoyable.
That opening. Show two people together, and we automatically start trying to put together the story of what's going to happen next.
Kafkaesque nightmare - the rules are constantly changing, but everyone else seems to know what’s going on but you/the protagonist (Kleinman doesn’t know his vigilante assignment, but everyone’s upset with him for not following it. Then the vigilantes split into warring factions (all O.S.), and Kleinman is asked to choose sides without having any idea what any side stands for). Feeling is enhanced by mysticism that’s totally out of your control (the Clairvoyant asks to sniff Kleinman, and everyone else totally buys this as a reasonable way of looking for clues).
Kafkaesque nightmare turns into Kafkaesque romantic comedy with the simple addition of an ally. Mia Farrow’s character is as logical and questioning as Kleinman, and more assertive in it (causing friction and moving the plot forward despite the wishy-washy, go-along-to-get-along protagonist).
Directed by and starring Woody Allen, the movie features two plots, one where the Allen character is part of a vigilante group trying to stop a strangler, and another where the Mia Farrow character leaves her boyfriend and her job at the circus for a new life. The two characters obviously convene, and for an hour and twenty minutes, I couldn't stop laughing. The film itself looked beautiful, with excellent film noir/french expressionist homages. After I watch a movie, I usually check out imdb, reddit, and Roger Ebert, to find reviews and discussions on films. I was shocked to find how hated Shadows and Fog and was. The common criticisms were that it was that unoriginal in both look and…
The best part of SHADOWS AND FOG is the cast. Woody Allen always seems to find a way to put a ton of interesting people under one roof and I love it.
I wasn’t totally enamored by the movie, but it’s hard to really dislike anything Woody does. The guy’s just too incredible to not have, at the minimum, some parts of his films be enjoyable.
I wished there was more of Max and his put upon hunt for the Strangler. It seemed like each time I was getting back into the story of this poor schlub trying to catch and avoid a serial killer, it would turn to a different subplot and take me out.
I love uncomfortable, out-of-his-element Woody. Sleeper is one of my favorites. I was hoping this was going to be similar. It was a bit of a let down.
Woody Allen's pretentious black-and-white homage to his influences -- the usual suspects (Bergman, Fellini) plus a few others (Lang, Murnau, Brecht and Weill) -- is about as lightweight as anything he's done, and also depressing, because it's happy to be completely derivative. The look is terrific — even the poster is terrific — but that's all. Allen's loving recreation of German expressionist cinema (Carlo Di Palma did the pea-soup cinematography) would have been great in a story that matched it, but this is just a sketchbook. Put plainly, many of Allen's best films say to us, "This is what's on my mind now"; this film says, "This is what's on my coffee table now."
Woody stars as Max Kleinman (translated,…
Black and White Woody Allen is one of the best versions of Woody Allen you're likely to ever see.
Interesting concept and good performances.