Shadows and Fog (Woody Allen) -1991

This movie was filmed in black-and-white and entirely at night.  So, it is mostly black.  Lovers of black-and-white photography will appreciate this production or what they can see of it.  The entire movie was filmed on a 26,000 square foot indoor set.  Woody is a milquetoast clerk in a town full of paranoiacs.  He is drafted by a vigilante group to help trap a strangler who sometimes slits throats.  Mia is in the circus visiting the town.  She is the sword-swallower living with a cheating clown (John Malkovich).  Mia flees the circus and meets John Cusack in a brothel that is also home for prostitutes played by Lily Tomlin, Kathy Bates and Jodie Foster.  Woody and Mia join forces at the police station where they are treated like common criminals.  The purposes of this story are to show what fear can do to normally-decent townsfolk and to let Woody explore the intricacies of darkly-framed fog scenes.  David Ogden Stiers, Madonna, Donald Pleasence (1919-1995), John C. Reilly, Fred Gwynne (1926-1993), William H. Macy, Julie Kavner, Wallace Shawn and Kenneth Mars have small parts in this all-star cast. [JAM 3/24/2010]

["... the picture is in the writing, and people weren't interested in the story.  You know when you're doing a black-and-white picture that takes place in a European city at night in the twenties, you're not going to make big bucks.  Nobody liked the picture  ... It just looked great.  There was pleasure in the way it was photographed.  Again, I make these films to amuse myself, or should I say to distract myself.  I wanted to see what it would be like making a film all on a set, outdoors being indoors.  And setting it during one night and having all these characters and this old European quality to it.  The hope always is that others will enjoy it when I'm finished ... It fulfilled that desire that keeps me working, that keeps me in the film business.  I do all my films for my own personal reasons, and I hope that people will like them and I'm always gratified when I hear they do.  But if they don't, there's nothing I can do about that because I don't set out to make them for approval - I like approval, but I don't make them for approval." Conversations with Woody Allen - February 2006]