As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
A small and insignificant bookkeeper, Kleinman, is awoken one night by his neighbors who wants his help to track down a strangler who has been killing people all over town. The citizens form vigilance committees, but when Kleinman has dressed, his neighbors have disappeared. Meanwhile a circus has come to town. Irmy and Paul are two of the artists. After a fight, Irmy leaves the circus in the middle of the night. Eventually she meets Kleinman, scared and alone. Written by
I just saw `Shadows and Fog' for the first time this weekend, and while I can't say that it immediately became my favorite Woody Allen film, I did find it a very thoughtful and interesting film (not really a comedy), and an exceptionally beautiful film to look at.
I know this is frowned upon at the IMDb, but a lengthy and very negative review on this page of `Shadows and Fog,' along with a critique of Woody Allen in general, has gotten my dander up, and I felt like putting in my two cents. Why on earth should I, or any film lover, care about how successful a film is financially? Why should I care if a majority of movie patrons like a director's films or not? From my perspective, some of the stupidest trash makes the most money and sells the most tickets. Sure, I liked Jurassic Park -- saw it several times at the cinema, bought the video -- but not because of how much money it made, or how many other people were going to see it. It was because it was fun, and I liked it. Does that mean I should damn more esoteric directors (like Woody Allen) to oblivion? There are directors whose work I don't always understand, but God bless them, if they have the opportunity and the drive to get their cinematic vision realized, more power to them. I don't necessarily have to like their work, or go to see it. But on the whole, I'd rather be talked-up-to then talked-down-to, and being a little confused by a film has never permanently damaged anyone, so far as I know.
So calm down out there, you art-house-haters! It's just entertainment. Read your 20th century history. Limiting entertainment to its lowest common denominator has been tried and tried. No good has ever come of it, to my knowledge.
And incidentally, if you have a predilection for Woody Allen films, and like the look of old black and white expressionist cinema, give `Shadows and Fog' a look. It would maybe kill you?
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