10 May 2003 | gayspiritwarrior
Not for everyone, but what is???
It's amusing to see people getting so upset at not "getting" a film others call great that they'll denigrate not only the film, but the people who made it and anyone who does like it. There seems to be a lot of that with Woody Allen. Stand-up comics aren't supposed to make great films. Fortunately, Woody doesn't care what people think he's "supposed" to do.
And make no mistake, "Shadows and Fog" is a great film. Not merely an homage to the German expressionists, it abounds in the philosophies Woody has discussed in all his films: god, love, death, sanity and craziness, honesty, cruelty, tyranny, humanity. The characters in this, one of the best of his screenplays, are all individuals, all facets of Woody's immense understanding of the common man. The scene in the brothel is stunning in its casual ordinariness. Kleinman (translation, "little man,") is all of us, in the shadow and fog of confusing times. Consider the line he delivers just before he blows pepper in the crowd's face: "I never did anything to deserve getting in trouble." The irony here is that much of the fascism that overtook Europe came because too many good people did nothing. The lesson was as significant when Woody made the film as during the time depicted, and just as significant today. A great film, 10/10.