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Remembering: Shadows and Fog

Remembering: Shadows and Fog
American comedy directed by Woody Allen
Starring Woody Allen, Mia Farrow,
John Malkovich, and Julie Kavner
Released on December 5, 1991
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head

Kleinman (Woody Allen) is the cowardly bookkeeper and wanna-be magician wandering aimlessly in the b&w fog, armed with pepper in a paper bag. You see, there’s a serial killer on the loose and Kleinman is either trying to find, or trying to avoid, the vigilante mob set on capturing the strangler before he strikes again.

It’s another great comedy-mystery with an all-star cast, compliments of a master storyteller. Allen as the bumbling bookkeeper is hilarious when his fear of the strangler, and his fear of the mob that he suspects have mistaken him for the killer, dares to seek sanctuary at the apartment of his ex-fiancé (Julie Kavner); the same ex-fiancé who he abandoned at the altar...

Kleinman: “Let me in, I have to come in, they’re after me, they’re trying to kill me, there’s a mob!” The ex-fiancé: “And you dare to come here?” Kleinman: “What can I do, I’m running for my life, and I saw your place, and...” The ex-fiancé: “Well, whatever they think about you, I’m sure you’re guilty of it!” Kleinman: “Alma, is it possible that I could murder somebody? Alma, it’s me, Max!” The ex-fiancé: “I never wanted to lay eyes on you again.” Kleinman: “I know I did a bad thing. But time heals. It’s been years.” The ex-fiancé: “The more I thought about it, the more I wanted you dead, dismembered, cut into little pieces and thrown to the dogs!” Kleinman: “Jesus, you’ve really given this thing some very specific thought.” The ex-fiancé: “You’re the worst scum, and I won’t rest until you fry in hell!” Kleinman: “Can I stay here tonight?”

The ex-fiancé: “How could you do it? How could you leave me standing there at the altar in front of family and friends, humiliated and weeping!” Kleinman: “I’ve explained that to you. There’s two sides to every story.” The ex-fiancé: “What two sides? Do you deny we were to be married, and you made an idiot of me in front of everyone?!” Kleinman: “I was nervous. I was a little drunk. I was unsure. It was your idea to get married.” The ex-fiancé: “And it was your idea to get me pregnant! We looked everywhere; my father, my mother, my brothers! ‘Where could he be? He was here before the ceremony, true he was drinking’! While everyone was walking around, puzzled and muttering, sensing my discomfort, you’re discovered in a broom closet making love to my sister!” Kleinman: “I thought I explained that!” The ex-fiancé: “What kind of explanation could you possibly have? You’re naked in the closet with my sister!”

Kleinman: “She still holds that against me. It’s not that I didn’t like you, I liked you. I liked you a lot, I just didn’t love you. Because you were pregnant, I tried to do the honorable thing!” The ex-fiancé: “The honorable thing? To desert me at the altar and make love with my younger sister in a broom closet is the honorable thing?!” Kleinman: “Look, we just had your best interests at heart.” The ex-fiancé: “I want you dead, and her.” Kleinman: “She was a wonderful girl. She’s fabulous. She loved you. She worshiped you like a goddess! She was singing your praises, I promise you, from the moment I slipped her pants off...” The ex-fiancé: “Get out! Get out of here and die!" The ex-fiancé pushes Kleinman out the door, and screams to the vigilante mob in the street: “Kleinman’s here! Klenman’s here!”

The murderer is eventually discovered lurking about the circus trailer of the clown (John Malkovich), who’ll have you laughing out loud with the line of pleading he delivers, thinking his wife is leaving him... the sword swallower (Mia Farrow), who gets a huge confidence boost to her sexuality, compliments of Jack (John Cusack), the high-paying client at the local whorehouse run by a madam played by Kathy Bates.

A scene from Shadows and Fog...

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