Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Company of Wolves Review



Fig. 1 The Company of Wolves poster
The Company of Wolves, a dark, gruesome, symbolic folklore about werewolves. Nothing is quite what it seems, using objects scattered in Rosaleen's (Sarah Patterson) room, the symbolism of wolves, and ionic red hooded-cloak. Most notable is it's segment of Little Red Ridinghood, with it's own twists and turns. This is the most sadistic re-telling of a childrens story, to have ever hit the screen. There is no expense wasted on censorship or pleasantries with werewolves shredding their skin, skeleton reconfigurations and heads sent across the room.


Fig. 2 Rosaleen and Granny
The special effects are nicely done, transitioning between dreams and stories seamlessly, the transformation of the werewolves both gruesome and artistically brilliant. The set designers, as Vincent Canby said, 'come up with a couple of comparatively conventional, horror-film decapitations and several unconventional ways in which men can turn into wolves on camera' (Canby, 1985).


Almost everything within Rosaleen's dream, is symbolised as a sexual hint towards Rosaleen. The most obvious 'symbol' is her perception of 'werewolves as a horror metaphor for sexual aggression in men' (Dorian, 2009). When Granny (Angela Lansbury) and Rosaleen's mother (Tusse Silberg) speak to Rosaleen, they advise her what is best, with the hint being to stay clear of the wild life. Also, Rosaleen's red cloak is a suggestion of her virginity. When she is lost in the woods, she comes across man to whom she then lowers her hood and kisses, hinting that she has let her guard down to him. Some time later she meets him again in her Grandmother's cottage, and she burns her cloak, displaying her affection for him. When the people from the village enter the cottage, they see a wolf wearing Rosaleen's necklace, showing that she has lost her virginity to the 'aggression' of a man. With the common use of wolves, they become 'rather than a symbol of evil, the wolves are seen as the consequences of an evil deed.  It weakens the film to have the wolf be such a plastic symbol.' (Miller, 2009)


Fig. 3 Rosaleen heading to the cottage
The Company of Wolves is a unique portrayal of a young women's road to maturity. It is an excellent retelling of Little Red Ridinghood and The Company of Wolves symboling is quite intriguing, however this is drawn out too much and as we are only shown the present day once, there is no sense of progression, no goal achieved.


Illustration
Figure 1. Neil Jordan (1984) The Company of Wolves poster. At: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HFJ2HTasjO0/Tn8D2nTsvwI/AAAAAAAAEjY/pAbD8VdieLA/s1600/company%2Bof%2Bwolves.jpg
Figure 2. Neil Jordan (1984) Rosaleen and Granny. At: http://www.damonart.com/photos/company_of_wolves7.jpg
Figure 3. Neil Jordan (1984) Rosaleen and Granny. At: http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=AlexHewison/CW_15.jpg


Bibliography
Vincent Canby (1985) The New York Times. At: http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9802EFD91138F93AA25757C0A963948260
Dorian (2009) Post Modern Barney. At: http://www.postmodernbarney.com/2009/10/spooky-month-review-the-company-of-wolves/
Eric Miller (2009) Classic-Horror. At: http://classic-horror.com/reviews/company_of_wolves_1984

3 comments:

  1. Hey Jake - I suggest you re-edit this review - your formatting is all over the place - different fonts, quotes not in italics etc - also, can I suggest too that you simply reduce your overall font size - reading your blog is a bit like BEING SHOUTED AT!

    Also, your content needs more polish, for instance the transition into the quote: As Vincent Canby said, ' come up with a couple of comparatively conventional, horror-film decapitations and several unconventional ways in which men can turn into wolves on camera'

    This doesn't make sense as a sentence.

    A bit more care and attention all round, please Jake - because the content is okay, but the presentation very distracting!

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  2. Hi Phil,

    The reason I used large is because I found normal too small to read. Also I can't find the option to alter the word spacing, as some how when I writing this up, the word spacing changed and is all out of whack. Also didn't realise quotes had to be in italics.

    I'll also re-read it through, just took a look at the section that you specified and I understand what you mean.

    Thanks for your help.

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  3. Great that you went back to this, Jake - polish and professionalism are vital - even at this earliest stage; establish a professional code of conduct now, and it will serve you throughout your time here - and beyond.

    Still not sure about this transition though - shouldn't it read something like this?

    In terms of size, are you opting for 'small' or 'normal'? Maybe consider using arial as a font, as it's just a simpler design and easier on the eye.
    Vincent Canby suggests the film features a 'couple of comparatively conventional, horror-film decapitations and several unconventional ways in which men can turn into wolves on camera' (Canby, 1985).

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