Shadows And Fog


1h 23m 1991

Brief Synopsis

A meek bookkeeper tries to save a runaway circus performer from a serial killer.

Film Details

Also Known As
Ombres et brouillard
MPAA Rating
PG-13
Genre
Comedy
Period
Release Date
1991
Distribution Company
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. (MGM )/ORION PICTURES INTERNATIONAL
Location
New York City, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m

Synopsis

A mysterious strangler strikes when the circus comes to town.

Crew

Robert Albertell

Production Assistant

Joseph S Alfieri

Carpenter

Stuart Allen

Other

Woody Allen

Screenplay

Yasmine Amitai

Apprentice

Tom Amos

Production Assistant

Raffi Armenian

Music Conductor

David Atherton

Music Conductor

David E Baron

Camera Trainee

Elisha Birnbaum

Foley Artist

Bertolt Brecht

Other

Bertolt Brecht

Music

Wilhelm Bruckner-ruggeberg

Other

Ronald J. Burke

Dolly Grip

Michael Caracciolo

Assistant Camera Operator

Kay Chapin

Script Supervisor

Bill Christians

Wardrobe Supervisor

James A Davis

Location Manager

B. G. Desylva

Music

George Detitta Jr.

Set Decorator

Carlo Di Palma

Dp/Cinematographer

Carlo Di Palma

Director Of Photography

Lee Dichter

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Franz Doelle

Music

Peter Eastman

Assistant Art Director

A Egen

Music

Patricia Eiben

Wardrobe Supervisor

Judie Fixler

Casting

Lauren Gibson

Costumes

W Steven Graham

Assistant Art Director

Frank Graziadei

Sound Recordist

Michael Green

Assistant Camera Operator

Romaine Greene

Hair Stylist

Robert Greenhut

Producer

Vincent Guarriello

Grip

Brian Hamill

Photography

Joseph R Hartwick

Production Manager

Joseph R Hartwick

Coproducer

Robert Hein

Sound Editor

Harry Higgins

Sound Dubbing

Speed Hopkins

Art Director

Michael A. Jackman

Production Auditor

Charles H. Joffe

Executive Producer

Robert Katscher

Music

Kerry Kelly

Sound Dubbing

Otto Klemperer

Song

Lori Kornspun

Foley Editor

William Kruzykowski

Assistant Editor

Jeffrey Kurland

Costume Designer

Stuart Levy

Assistant Sound Editor

Mark Livolsi

Assistant Editor

Glenn Lloyd

Art Department Coordinator

Leslie Loftis

Production Assistant

Peter Lombardi

Production Auditor

Santo Loquasto

Production Designer

Jim Manzione

Best Boy

Amy Marshall

Set Decorator

Bernadette Mazur

Makeup Artist

James Mazzola

Property Master

Harold Mcevoy

Transportation Captain

Michael Miller

Assistant Art Director

Dick Mingalone

Camera Operator

Megan Monaghan

Location Scout

Justin Moritt

Production Assistant

Susan E Morse

Editor

Richard Patrick

Assistant Director

Stacy Patrick

Production Assistant

Robert Perdziola

Assistant Art Director

Ron Petagna

Construction Coordinator

Ray Quinlan

Gaffer

Thomas Reilly

Assistant Director

Thomas Reilly

Associate Producer

Ilyse A. Reutlinger

Assistant Production Coordinator

Danielle Rigby

Production Assistant

Helen Robin

Coproducer

Helen Robin

Production Coordinator

Jack Rollins

Executive Producer

Laura Rosenthal

Casting Associate

Fritz Rotter

Music

James Sabat

Sound Mixer

Louis Sabat

Boom Operator

Don Sable

Sound Design

K Schwebach

Music

Cosmo Sorice

Scenic Artist

James Sorice

Scenic Artist

Julie Sriro

Assistant

Pete Tavis

Transportation Captain

Juliet Taylor

Casting

Carl Turnquest

Projectionist

Brian Vancho

Foley Artist

Bob Ward

Key Grip

Tom Warren

Art Director

Kurt Weill

Music

Dave Weinman

On-Set Dresser

Jennifer Wilkinson

Dga Trainee

Gilbert S Williams

Production Assistant

Donna Zakowska

Assistant Costume Designer

Film Details

Also Known As
Ombres et brouillard
MPAA Rating
PG-13
Genre
Comedy
Period
Release Date
1991
Distribution Company
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. (MGM )/ORION PICTURES INTERNATIONAL
Location
New York City, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m

Articles

Shadows and Fog


Synopsis: Somewhere in Central Europe, the lowly clerk Kleinman is drawn against his will into a gang of vigilantes intent on finding a Jack the Ripper-style killer who is terrorizing the city. Unsure of what he is even supposed to do for the gang, Kleinman meets up by chance with Irmy, a sweet-natured circus artist who has run away from her unfaithful husband and has just spent the night in a brothel. When Kleinman visits a doctor who is subsequently murdered, the vigilantes begin to target him as well.

The European art cinema has typically provided the basic source of inspiration for Woody Allen's "serious" films, and Shadows and Fog (1992) is no exception. While some of his older films have one obvious model--for example, Stardust Memories (1980) is clearly an homage to Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963) and Interiors (1978) is haunted by the spirit of Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers (1972)--Shadows and Fog is a virtual collage of film references. The Doctor's conversation with the Murderer (a stand-in for Death), the subplot of marital strife in a circus, and the exploration of magic and illusion specifically recall Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957), Sawdust and Tinsel (1953) and The Magician (1958), respectively. German cinema of the Weimar era, particularly F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), G. W. Pabst's The Joyless Street (1925) and Pandora's Box (1929), and Fritz Lang's M (1931) seem likely influences as well. At the same time, the basic situation of Kleinman's character is clearly reminiscent of Franz Kafka's novel The Trial, and the soundtrack uses several Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill songs.

The film has its source in Woody Allen's earlier one-act play "Death," which was originally published in his 1972 anthology Without Feathers. No concrete setting is indicated in the play, though a reference to steak house salad dressing would suggest that it takes place in the United States. Allen considerably rewrote and expanded the play for the film version--not only is the film now set in Central Europe, but many characters and incidents have been added, including the brothel and circus sequences. The film also has more of an overt philosophical dimension, and the character of the killer retains his basic menacing quality to the very end, whereas in the play the killer finally becomes a comic figure.

The most noteworthy aspect of the film is undoubtedly the atmospheric black and white cinematography by the late Carlo Di Palma (1925-2004). Before moving to Hollywood, Di Palma had worked with directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci and Michelangelo Antonioni. He had not made a film in black and white since the Sixties, when it was still relatively common, particularly in Italy. In that respect, the choice of black and white represented something of a conscious return to the past for both him and Woody Allen. (During the Seventies and early Eighties, Woody Allen was one of the few major directors who worked repeatedly with black and white film stock; in fact, Manhattan (1979), Stardust Memories and Broadway Danny Rose (1984), all photographed by Gordon Willis, remain among the best American forays into black and white during the past few decades.) Di Palma worked with Allen regularly from Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) up to Deconstructing Harry (1997). In this film, Allen and Di Palma, together with the production designer Santo Loquasto, deliberately evoke the atmosphere of German Expressionism through the extensive use of fog and low-key lighting. Especially striking is the way Di Palma often creates silhouette effects by backlighting subjects through the fog. In purely pictorial terms, it's one of the director's most accomplished films to date.

Because of his large European following, especially in France, Woody Allen's films have often performed better there than in the United States. In some cases, his films failed to recoup their costs during the domestic release but later turned a profit overseas. In the case of Shadows and Fog, the domestic release was delayed because of Orion Pictures' financial problems. Since overseas distribution rights were held by Columbia Pictures, it was actually released in Europe first. Against production costs totaling approximately $14 million, the film ultimately grossed only $2.7 million in the U.S. Not helping matters was the chilly critical reception it received here, though at least one major critic, Vincent Canby of the New York Times, praised the film precisely for its unpredictable shifts in tone and as its "brazen, irrepressible pastiche of references." Indeed, the film's quirky sensibility, luminous cinematography and astonishing collection of star cameos suggest that while Shadows and Fog will probably never be rated as one of Woody Allen's major works, it is certainly more worthy of attention than it has been given so far.

Producer: Robert Greenhut
Director and Writer: Woody Allen
Photography: Carlo Di Palma
Production Design: Santo Loquasto
Editor: Susan E. Morse
Costume Designer: Jeffrey Kurland
Cast: Woody Allen (Kleinman), Mia Farrow (Irmy), John Malkovich (Clown), Kathy Bates (Prostitute), John Cusack (Student Jack), Jodie Foster (Prostitute), Fred Gwynne (Hacker's Follower), Julie Kavner (Alma), Madonna (Marie), Kenneth Mars (Magician), Kate Nelligan (Eve), Donald Pleasence (Doctor), Lily Tomlin (Prostitute), Philip Bosco (Mr. Paulsen), Wallace Shawn (Simon Carr), David Ogden Stiers (Hacker), Michael Kirby (Killer), Eszter Balint (Woman with Baby).
BW-85m. Letterboxed

by James Steffen
Shadows And Fog

Shadows and Fog

Synopsis: Somewhere in Central Europe, the lowly clerk Kleinman is drawn against his will into a gang of vigilantes intent on finding a Jack the Ripper-style killer who is terrorizing the city. Unsure of what he is even supposed to do for the gang, Kleinman meets up by chance with Irmy, a sweet-natured circus artist who has run away from her unfaithful husband and has just spent the night in a brothel. When Kleinman visits a doctor who is subsequently murdered, the vigilantes begin to target him as well. The European art cinema has typically provided the basic source of inspiration for Woody Allen's "serious" films, and Shadows and Fog (1992) is no exception. While some of his older films have one obvious model--for example, Stardust Memories (1980) is clearly an homage to Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963) and Interiors (1978) is haunted by the spirit of Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers (1972)--Shadows and Fog is a virtual collage of film references. The Doctor's conversation with the Murderer (a stand-in for Death), the subplot of marital strife in a circus, and the exploration of magic and illusion specifically recall Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957), Sawdust and Tinsel (1953) and The Magician (1958), respectively. German cinema of the Weimar era, particularly F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), G. W. Pabst's The Joyless Street (1925) and Pandora's Box (1929), and Fritz Lang's M (1931) seem likely influences as well. At the same time, the basic situation of Kleinman's character is clearly reminiscent of Franz Kafka's novel The Trial, and the soundtrack uses several Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill songs. The film has its source in Woody Allen's earlier one-act play "Death," which was originally published in his 1972 anthology Without Feathers. No concrete setting is indicated in the play, though a reference to steak house salad dressing would suggest that it takes place in the United States. Allen considerably rewrote and expanded the play for the film version--not only is the film now set in Central Europe, but many characters and incidents have been added, including the brothel and circus sequences. The film also has more of an overt philosophical dimension, and the character of the killer retains his basic menacing quality to the very end, whereas in the play the killer finally becomes a comic figure. The most noteworthy aspect of the film is undoubtedly the atmospheric black and white cinematography by the late Carlo Di Palma (1925-2004). Before moving to Hollywood, Di Palma had worked with directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci and Michelangelo Antonioni. He had not made a film in black and white since the Sixties, when it was still relatively common, particularly in Italy. In that respect, the choice of black and white represented something of a conscious return to the past for both him and Woody Allen. (During the Seventies and early Eighties, Woody Allen was one of the few major directors who worked repeatedly with black and white film stock; in fact, Manhattan (1979), Stardust Memories and Broadway Danny Rose (1984), all photographed by Gordon Willis, remain among the best American forays into black and white during the past few decades.) Di Palma worked with Allen regularly from Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) up to Deconstructing Harry (1997). In this film, Allen and Di Palma, together with the production designer Santo Loquasto, deliberately evoke the atmosphere of German Expressionism through the extensive use of fog and low-key lighting. Especially striking is the way Di Palma often creates silhouette effects by backlighting subjects through the fog. In purely pictorial terms, it's one of the director's most accomplished films to date. Because of his large European following, especially in France, Woody Allen's films have often performed better there than in the United States. In some cases, his films failed to recoup their costs during the domestic release but later turned a profit overseas. In the case of Shadows and Fog, the domestic release was delayed because of Orion Pictures' financial problems. Since overseas distribution rights were held by Columbia Pictures, it was actually released in Europe first. Against production costs totaling approximately $14 million, the film ultimately grossed only $2.7 million in the U.S. Not helping matters was the chilly critical reception it received here, though at least one major critic, Vincent Canby of the New York Times, praised the film precisely for its unpredictable shifts in tone and as its "brazen, irrepressible pastiche of references." Indeed, the film's quirky sensibility, luminous cinematography and astonishing collection of star cameos suggest that while Shadows and Fog will probably never be rated as one of Woody Allen's major works, it is certainly more worthy of attention than it has been given so far. Producer: Robert Greenhut Director and Writer: Woody Allen Photography: Carlo Di Palma Production Design: Santo Loquasto Editor: Susan E. Morse Costume Designer: Jeffrey Kurland Cast: Woody Allen (Kleinman), Mia Farrow (Irmy), John Malkovich (Clown), Kathy Bates (Prostitute), John Cusack (Student Jack), Jodie Foster (Prostitute), Fred Gwynne (Hacker's Follower), Julie Kavner (Alma), Madonna (Marie), Kenneth Mars (Magician), Kate Nelligan (Eve), Donald Pleasence (Doctor), Lily Tomlin (Prostitute), Philip Bosco (Mr. Paulsen), Wallace Shawn (Simon Carr), David Ogden Stiers (Hacker), Michael Kirby (Killer), Eszter Balint (Woman with Baby). BW-85m. Letterboxed by James Steffen

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring March 20, 1992

Released in United States on Video October 21, 1992

Released in United States December 5, 1991

Released in United States February 1992

Shown at Berlin Film Festival (out of competition) February 13-24, 1992.

Completed shooting February 15, 1991.

Began shooting November 19, 1990.

Originally scheduled for release in United Kingdom October 23, 1992, but pushed back to 1993 to make way for Allen's controversial "Husbands and Wives" (USA/1992).

Released in United States Spring March 20, 1992

Released in United States December 5, 1991 (Shown in New York City (Walter Reade) December 5, 1991.)

Released in United States February 1992 (Shown at Berlin Film Festival (out of competition) February 13-24, 1992.)

Released in United States on Video October 21, 1992