Starring Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Sarah Patterson and Brian Glover
Written by Angela Carter and Neil Jordan
Directed by Neil Jordan
Our last movie was Boogie Nights - Paul Thomas Anderson's sprawling LA tale featuring a multitude of characters and stories. Tonight's film also features a group of stories told from a variety of viewpoints - this time framed within a dream structure.
The Company Of Wolves is based on a short story by Angela Carter - one of the most prolific and unique talents in post war literature. Often described as a magical realist, Carter's writing is rich, exuberant and difficult to classify. Essentially a feminist but with a sceptical and irreverent bent she was particularly fascinated by fairy tales and fantasy. The Bloody Chamber - her anthology of short stories based on such narratives as Beauty And The Beast, Bluebeard and Puss In Boots is a modern classic and has become a set text in schools.
Taken from this collection The Company Of Wolves re-interprets the tale of Red Riding Hood adding Carter's own sexual twist to the vivid cruelty of the original. In the present day a young girl called Rosaleen dreams that she is living with her parents in a fairytale forest. When she sets out to visit her grandmother - marvellously played by veteran actress Angela Lansbury - a strange sequence of events plays out...
The film's director Neil Jordan has had a mixed career which includes some highly original and distinctive pictures like Mona Lisa and perhaps most famously The Crying Game. He co-wrote the script for the Company Of Wolves with Carter and succeeds in creating an eerie and unsettling dream world.
Working in the days before CGI and with a limited budget production designer Anton Furst gives the film a mysterious beauty while the physical special effects by Chris Tucker remain quite astonishing.