HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Shadows and Fog I Mist AgainBuy this film here.
Year: 1991
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Kathy Bates, John Cusack, Mia Farrow, Jodie Foster, Fred Gwynne, Julie Kavner, Madonna, John Malkovich, Kenneth Mars, Kate Nelligan, Donald Pleasence, Lily Tomlin, Robert Joy, Wallace Shawn, Kurtwood Smith, Josef Sommer, David Ogden Stiers
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: There's a killer loose in the city, and he always emerges when it is a foggy night just like tonight. This has led vigilante gangs to roam the streets in the hope that they will catch him before he strangles another victim, but so far they have been unsuccessful. It is this state of affairs that has humble clerk Kleinman (Woody Allen) awoken in the early hours by some of the vigilantes who demand he joins them on their search, and while he is reluctant, he cannot come up with a convincing reason not to, so is forced to put on his suit and venture outside...

Seems nobody was much satisfied with Shadows and Fog when it was initially released, as most could not see past the visual homages to German expressionist cinema of decades before, the Franz Kafka elements and, naturally, the circus reminiscent of occasional Ingmar Bergman works (though curiously Federico Fellini went unmentioned). There's too much of other people's efforts in here, went the complaint, and not enough stuff individual to Allen, and that in spite of the writer-director-star portraying one of his most recognisable incarnations as the hounded lead character, the plot's menace ideal for his wisecracking coward act.

Indeed, the black and white photography, the most striking aspect thanks to Carlo Di Ponti's expert endeavours, conjured up memories of Bob Hope thrillers where he had to negotiate his way around dangerous situations while still managing to keep his sense of humour, actually clinging onto his jokes like a life raft in a hostile ocean. When Kleinman ends up being a suspect, not for the whole string of crimes but as a copycat, it's the ideal nightmare for the Allen style, seeing his meekness and ability to view things from an ironic perspective turn to a liability as the other, humourless characters cannot see what's funny and turn on him.

Another target for those naysayers who didn't like what the filmmaker had done here - and it was his equivalent of a superproduction, splashing the cash on large sets in his most expensive work to that point - was the way that it seemed as if all those celebrities who had been hankering after a role in a Woody Allen movie got their wish. Literally not a couple of minutes went by before yet another familiar face hoved into view, with an all-star cast taking in everyone from Madonna and John Malkovich (at the circus) to John Cusack and Jodie Foster (at the brothel), the only place you would see such an eclectic collection in one film.

Even the bit parts displayed Allen's knack for casting the sort of player who would go on to be more successful, with John C. Reilly and William H. Macy appearing in tiny roles. But if that was a distraction, and many found it to be the case, if you listened to what they were saying there may not have been an abundance of hilarious lines but there were some interesting philosophical observations to be made. It's just that there were a variety of them, rendering this more of a mishmash than anything as slick as its imagery would offer. But that imagery was most captivating, the overall gloom and sinister take on an unnamed city employing a genuine threat to the characters, and it was amusing to see Allen verbally spar with, say, Donald Pleasence for a touch of the macabre, although the business with Mia Farrow's subplot was feeling rather tired by this time. If you could stomach the would-be charming puzzle ending, which was more twee and twinkly, then Shadows and Fog was better than its reputation.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1875 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Woody Allen  (1935 - )

American writer/director/actor and one of the most distinctive talents in American film-making over the last three decades. Allen's successful early career as a stand-up comedian led him to start his directing life with a series of madcap, scattershot comedies that included Bananas, Sleeper and Love and Death. 1975's Oscar-winning Annie Hall was his first attempt to weave drama and comedy together, while 1979's Manhattan is considered by many critics to be Allen's masterpiece.

Throughout the 80s Allen tried his hand at serious drama (Another Woman), warm comedy (Broadway Danny Rose, Radio Days) and more experimental films (Zelig, Stardust Memories). Some were great, some less so, but pictures like Hannah and her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanours are among the decade's best.

The 90s saw Allen keep up his one-film-a-year work-rate, the most notable being the fraught Husbands and Wives, gangster period piece Bullets Over Broadway, the savagely funny Deconstructing Harry and the under-rated Sweet and Lowdown. After a run of slight, average comedies, Allen returned to more ambitious territory with the split-story Melinda and Melinda, the dark London-set drama Match Point, romantic drama Vicky Cristina Barcelona, one of many of his films which won acting Oscars, and the unexpected late-on hits Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine. In any case, he remains an intelligent, always entertaining film-maker with an amazing back catalogue.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: