Movie genres, like fables, endure repeated tellings. Often the pleasure lies in peeling away hidden layers of meaning. The Company of Wolves (1984), based on a story by Angela Carter, is a feminist attempt to deconstruct the morphology of the Little Red Riding Hood folktale. The film asks what it means for a girl to disobey her family by straying from the path. Are her parents and grandmother prudently cautioning her against the violent loss of innocence through rape, or betraying the ancient fear that a girl will acquire knowledge and independence through
sexual power? —MoMA
One of Ireland’s most celebrated directors, Neil Jordan has made his name directing moody, often politically charged films that focus largely on themes of love, betrayal, and the darker realms of the human psyche. Born February 25, 1950, in Sligo County, Ireland, Jordan began his career as an acclaimed fiction writer. He entered the film industry in 1981 as a script consultant on John Boorman’s Excalibur, and subsequently made a documentary about the making of the film. After scripting another film, Traveller, Jordan wrote and directed his first film, the stylish 1982 crime drama Angel. Starring Stephen Rea as a saxophone player who witnesses a series of brutal murders, it explored the darker, violent impulses of the human mind, a theme that Jordan would revisit time and again in his later films. After attracting his first wave of international recognition for In the Company of Wolves (1984), his horror-tinged retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, Jordan had his first real success… read more
Incidental to the Tavianis’ analogous omnibus Kaos, if as much a counterpoint to the masculine fantasy of Boorman’s Excalibur - Red Riding Hood its fulcrum, Lansbury’s matriarch the feminine crusader (who submits man and beast as indeed alike). While it starts but a contrived gothic ambience - with a drably British feel - it’s when Jordan’s narrative adopts its dreamcatcher that it thus adopts the memorable: at its most heightened, a shifting dreamscape of thick atmosphere and garish imagery, as per its searing traumnovelle mash-up.
I believe seeing this film as a kid might be the best way. It has its fair share of evocative images(Close-up of drops of tears), and a dreamy plot/pacing. As an adult, I'm not buying it--the sets looks all the same, the special effects are crummy, and the men are all unattractive. The narrative misses it's mark too often and when it should be fantastical, eerie, and erotic, its obvious and just plain silly.
A strange film, who benefits from an eerie atmosphere, some fantastic sets, and strangely erotic moments.
Has followed me since early childhood like a nightmare I couldn't forget; in fact, for a long time, I thought I had only dreamed this movie (and probably, I had dreamed it, and memories of those dreams merged with my nebulous memories of the actual film). I still await the right time to watch this as an adult.