It is midwinter and the robin, friend of man, sits on the handle of the gardener's spade and sings. It is the worst time in all the year for wolves, but this strong-minded child insists she will go off through the wood. She is quite sure that wild beast cannot harm her although, well warned, she lays a carving knife in the basket her mother has packed with cheeses. There is a bottle of harsh liquor distilled from brambles; a batch of flat oak cakes baked on the hearthstone; a pot or two of jam. The flaxen-haired girl will take these delicious gifts to a reclusive grandmother so old the burden of her years is crushing her to death. Granny lives two hours' trudge through the winter woods; the child wraps herself up in her thick shawl, draws it over her head. She steps into her stout wooden shoes; she is dressed and ready and it is Christmas Eve. The malign door of the solstice still swings upon its hinges, but she has been too much loved to ever feel scared.
Aged and frail, granny is three-quarters succumbed to the mortality the ache in her bones promises her and almost about ready to give in entirely. A boy came out from the village to build up her hearth for the night an hour ago, and the kitchen crackled with the busy firelight. She has her Bible for company; she is pious old woman. She is propped up on several pillows in the bed set into the wall peasant fashion, wrapped up in the patchwork quilt she made before she was married, more years ago than she cares to remember. Two china spaniels with liver collared blotches on their coats and black noses sit on either side of the fireplace. There is a bright rug of woven rags on the pantiles. The grandfather clock ticks away her eroding time.
Now a great howling rose up all around them, near, very near, as close as the kitchen garden, the howling of a multitude of wolves; she knew worst wolves are hairy on the inside and she shivered, in spite of the scarlet shawl she pulled more closely round herself as if it could protect her, although is was as red as blood she must spill.
Snow half-caked the lattice and she opened it to look into the garden. It was a white night of moon and snow; the blizzard whirled round the gaunt, gray beasts who squatted on their haunches among the rows of winter cabbage, pointing their sharp snouts to the moon and howling as if their hearts would break. Ten wolves; twenty wolves - so many wolves she could not count them, howling in concert as if demented or deranged. Their eyes reflected light from the kitchen and shone like a hundred candles.
She closed the window on the wolves' threnody and took off her scarlet shawl, the color of poppies, the color of sacrifices, the color of her menses, and since her fear did her no good, she ceased to be afraid.
An adaptation of Angela Carter's fairy tales. Young Rosaleen dreams of a village in the dark woods, where Granny tells her cautionary tales in which innocent maidens are tempted by wolves who are hairy on the inside. As Rosaleen grows into womanhood, will the wolves come for her too
The film focuses on a young girl named Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) who's experiencing surreal, lucid dreams centred around a pack of wolves. The dreams even include the death of her sister at the hands/claws of the wolves. As Rosaleen begins to enter the early stages of womanhood, she spends time with her Granny (Angela Lansbury) who tells her stories that'll hold valuable lessons, in-particular she is told to be wary of men whose eyebrows meet as they're likely to be hiding secrets.
Really cool practical effects, especially in the wolf transitions but really everywhere. The music is eerie, the tone is dramatic, the film feels surreal. The Company of Wolves is a unique movie providing a series of loosely connected stories about werewolves and sexual blossoming that make you feel like you are being transported to hundreds of years ago. The acting is great, as is the direction.
Quite beautiful, surreal fog soaked dreamlike vignettes focusing on wolves and psychosexual fantasies. The film forsakes normal narrative structure in favour of short stories loosely tied together through content. Director Neil Jordan augments the film with a delicious atmosphere that makes the film one of the best dream depictions ever realised on screen. The stories are a little repetitive but the film consistently provides interesting images which helps to keep things moving. The special effects are superb and the film features two of the best and most inventive transformation scenes in the werewolf subgenre. The first one is particularly gnarly and grotesque! On the downside; it is fair to say that not everything hangs together perfectly and the message, likening sexuality active men to wolves, wears a little thin by the end. However, as an exercise in style this one is a real winner. One of the best \"adult fairytales\" put to screen.
Like Ginger Snaps (Canada, d. John Fawcett, 2000), The Company of Wolves uses the changing body of the werewolf as a metaphor for the horrors of puberty, menstruation, and sexual maturity. The recurring motif of the full moon draws obvious parallels between the menstrual (often thought lunar) cycle and the 'call of the wild' of the full moon for werewolves, which was later also the subject of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing comic 'The Curse'. Red dominates the palette of The Company of Wolves, representing preening (lipstick), temptation (red apples), and menstruation and death (blood).
Thankfully the portmanteau of stories are fantastic. They each have a strong sense of menace about them, not to mention a provocative erotic tone. There is also a heavy gendered slant going on, which brings to the film one of the less subtle subtexts: the werewolves are men, and they prey on women. They take on different forms and styles. Stephen Rea plays a werewolf that is cruel and brutish. Micha Bergese plays a werewolf that is amorous and seductive. Their angles may differ, but their intentions are the same. This is a message quite common in fairy tales; Carter does a fabulous job of focusing and sharpening it. To beware the wolf is to beware the man.
Although the film follows a conventional fairy tale narrative structure (with a child separated from their parent, traversing a dark landscape of temptation and desire before reaching maturation), the end of the film makes it clear that this is not a story meant to pacify. Instead of fearing the wolf, Rosaleen becomes one herself, declaring that she prefers to be in the company of wolves. Although some of this is undermined in the final sequence (a scene which Carter herself was unhappy with), the message here is clear: that the only way to survive is to find a way to save yourself.
THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (Dir. NEIL JORDAN) O.S.T. LP (CSR299LP) Out of print for over 35 years, the official soundtrack to the cult 1984 film by Neil Jordan is finally available once again on vinyl format. The surreal and effective film - a true gem of British Gothic fantasy horror - has an equally atmospheric, breathtakingly beautiful, surreal and unsettling soundtrack, scored by George Fenton.The film itself, directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Breakfast On Pluto), and based on the screenplay by Angela Carter and Neil Jordan, is a modern allegorical adaptation of the classic Grimm fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, symbolising sexual awakening, duality and liberation. The stellar cast features Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, Stephen Rea, David Warner, and Danielle Dax.\"There is a sense of awe and enchanted wonder encaptured in its fairy tale sound, swooping with cascading violins and dark mysterious undercurrents that bubble below the surface... The score flows effortlessly between its light and dark moments. Most importantly, moments of beauty are not lost to the sense of suspense and drama. Indeed, light always needs its companion of shadow, as the film suggests in the sexual awakening of the pure untainted innocence that is Rosaleen. This score perfectly demonstrates the beauty of the juxtaposition between the sounds of youth and the temptation of desire\" (L. Hammond)\"The film largely takes place in the dream world so I made this the home base for the orchestra. To a large extent the scoring in this area is conventional, perhaps a little impressionistic and hopefully reflects a curious but endearing world. This left me free to invent sounds for the stories within the dream world. I wanted to use a mixture of electronics and 'live' instruments, and after some experimenting, arrived at a line-up of three bass flutes, Pan Pipes, violins, one, two or three solo double basses, percussion and Synclavier II synthesizer\" (George Fenton, 1984)Oscar-nominated / Emmy & BAFTA-winning composer George Fenton has created stunning scores for major films and television such as: Gandhi, Dangerous Liaisons, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Frozen Planet and countless others over the last 40 years.Ltd LP on 180g vinyl. No digital.Order via Cold Spring: via Bandcamp: -company-of-wolves-csr299lpWatch teaser: Out 10th December 2021
The Bloody Chamber, her collection of 10 stories released in 1979, tackled everything from Bluebeard to Beauty and the Beast to Puss in Boots, excavating their themes of repression and desire and upending them in sometimes startling fashions. Decades before Gregory Maguire gave you-go-girl voice to Oz's Elphaba with Wicked, Carter was soaking her heroines in rivers of menstrual blood and seducing the big bad wolves straight into their beds.
Decades before Gregory Maguire gave you-go-girl voice to 'Oz's Elphaba with 'Wicked,' Carter was soaking her heroines in rivers of menstrual blood and seducing the big bad wolves straight into their beds.
In Carter's original version of the story, Red Riding Hood laughs in the wolf's face as he threatens her. And as Roseleen embraces her own company of wolves, we too learn how to run free, unfettered, such beautiful howling creatures of the night. 59ce067264