HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Shadows and Fog I Mist Again
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 2997 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: