Friday, 22 October 2010

Film Review: The Company of Wolves Directed by Neil Jordan (1984)

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I didn’t really like this film, it was a little too hard to follow and kind of creepy in places

The otherworldly way in which the movie is shot is good, there is great attention detail in the sets like odd shaped mushrooms and other flora and fauna that really emphasise the dreamy nature of the film.  Louise Watson’s review for BFI Screen Online say’s “Director Neil Jordan evokes an eerie, dreamlike atmosphere for the film's heightened reality. Its otherworldly scenery and costumes seem to have been inspired by fairytale illustrations, mixed with the studio-bound visual style of Hammer horror” Indeed with the townsfolk, costumes and scenic design there is so much to see its a visual treat.

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The whole symbolism of the film is so deep and the way the film is tied together with jumps in and out of the dream left me feeling a little confused to say the least. Granny told Rosaleen not to stray off the path, nor to trust men with eyebrows that meet yet that is exactly what she does (to Granny’s demise) and my stance on what unfolds at the end, echos the review at British Horror Films “The giant mushrooms peppered about the set are ridiculously phallic, and despite granny's warnings not to "stray from the path", she does so - with devastating results. That'll teach her. “

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But thats enough of that, the symbolism is drawn from the books that it is based on written by Angela Carter, who also co-wrote the film. The majority of the symbolism can be explained by this quote from Grace Brox’s review of the book “The fear of the wolf is bred into the children and the women, almost like paranoia, and the danger is exaggerated to mammoth proportions. Perhaps this is done to shield them from what the wolf really stands for; sexual appetite, danger and desire, something against which women have been "sheltered" in one form or another for centuries, and out of which they are beginning to emerge” And into which the character Rosaleen is half uncertain of but half wants and in the end gives into the wolf side of things to run away as an awakened sexual woman

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