Monday, 4 October 2010

Review of 'Company Of Wolves'

‘The Company of Wolves’ was directed by Neil Jordan in 1984. The film makes and attempt on reinterpreting the fairytale of Red Riding Hood. When watching this film it was easy to see its attempt to add a more dark and sexual tone to the fairytale by adding the introduction of werewolves and how not to trust handsome men with mono-brow because of this. I felt when watching this that the film had many metaphors but the strongest I felt was more sexism than anything else and how the male gender is one that is dangerous and mustn’t be trusted.  In my opinion makes for a bad movie as it is intent on being suitable for only one gender to view. But after getting further into the film my opinion changed and I could see what it was trying to imply.

The film follows a girl who has a dream about the fairytale of red riding hood. We can tell this immediately by the use of here toys in the dream at the beginning when watching her sister get eaten by wolves. To start off with that is just harsh. This seen immediately screams out darkness as she wants to subconsciously see harm to her sister. Don’t get me wrong everyone who has a sibling will have problems with them but doesn’t dream of their death by wolves, even if they repeat ‘pest...pest...pest...pest’ (which was highly annoying for anyone who endured the 5 minutes her sister banging on the door). Following on we get introduced to the cast at the funeral (Who is the family in reality apart from ‘Granny’.  From here on out the story unfolds as it would in the classic fairytale but with small stories which are put in place by the granny and even Rosaleen in parts all consisting of a handsome man who has a mono-brow. Why? What is wrong with the normal handsome guys who don’t have a hairy caterpillar atop their eyes?  I feel that this isn’t the best metaphor if it is intent on stopping little girls talking to strange men as the wives tale depicts but only to a select few, which make this version flawed.

 Nevertheless, I found it interesting how the stories from different time eras.  The dream of course being Victorian, The 1st story of a similar era, but the 2nd being Edwardian which is further in the future and the next even further which includes the Victorian but a 1920’s automotive in which a blonde woman and a well-off fully suited alchemist from what I gathered. This confused me as obviously it makes me wonder if it a story in the Victorian era why would they know of future events. I can obviously think that it part of a dream but to envision another story in a dream is a bit far-fetched like that is nearly impossible. Let face it, it not like we remember all are dreams anyway. Another review was more appreciative of this back and forth of stories. but for me I don't believe that the can possible understand that to have an idea of a story within a dream is a little unrealistic still the review stated:

'In tales within tales within tales, dream is reality, wolves are human, and vice-versa. Rarely has this Gothic landscape of the imagination been so perfectly conveyed by film' - GA

What I was impressed with was the transformation the metamorphosis of each man in each story/dream. I thought that out of all the best was the first as the man shed his skin. This transformation was prior to the CG so form me the detail that went into making the body transform whilst having a muscular physique was mind blowing and amazing to watch. The next was a simplistic version but was like a jackal and Hyde version whilst the next was witch craft. It was wonderful to watch as we as the viewer were able to see how Neil Jordan mind worked on screen and how he envisioned why and how we transform into other beings/animals. During the period it was made the special effects where 'Dark and abstract, they were exotic, subversive fantasies seemingly beyond the reach of conventional cinema.' – Ian Nathan

In conclusion, I recommend a watch and especially if you want to strike fear into your teenage daughter. Emphasis on teenage, this isn’t no mid-wives tale for little kids no more. You put a little child through that they be screaming when they see a man or women with the one line above the eye plus the whole snout coming through mouth thing. That would even give me nightmares. Nevertheless the movie is insightful in to transfiguration and manipulating the human body to fit the hybrid in question. In my opinion it is the best movie for you to reference for the project in question and let's face it his dark tone is nothing but disturbing. Thompson reviewed with a similar notion and stated:

'Red Riding Hood has always been a good source for nightmares, and this is one of the more compelling of those bad dreams' – Luke Y. Thompson


  1. Anatomy: Interim Online Review 05/10/2010

    Hey Jonathan,

    A disappointing body of work so far, Jon – and I’m a bit puzzled too. Remember, when it comes to the final assessment, I’m not marking the blog itself – I’m marking your creative development (your blog is simply the sketchbook, not the sketches), so I’ll be looking for the ways in which students have investigated and explored their project work – the lengths to which they’ve gone to conceptualise and execute the best possible standard of work. I’ll be looking for innovations and leaps of inspiration. I’ll be looking for independence, self-reflection and self-direction. I’ll be looking for determination, tenacity and a formidable work ethic. I’ll be looking for evidence of 360 degree creative engagement with all facets of the unit and its associated subject areas.

    Your output so far is puzzling because, while you’re keeping up-to-date with your reviews, your actual ‘creative development’ – i.e. the various ways in which you’re exploring methods of producing your jon/lamprey hybrid – is largely non-existent. I’ve very clearly signposted student work that represents ‘best practice’ via ‘The Post With The Post’ on the CGAA Group blog; creative methods that are producing interesting results and unexpected results: you can visit the latest set of highlights here:

  2. You don’t seem to have engaged with this principle aspect of your unit 1 work at all; that is not to say that the Photoshop digital painting sequence is without merit (indeed, it’s clear that your confidences are growing in this respect), but where are your comparative anatomy studies? Where and how are you developing your ‘fusion logic’ – i.e., the ways in which your body will bend and deform to accommodate the lamprey’s DNA? I find it mystifying that nowhere have you dealt with the most obvious characteristic of the lamprey – that incredible, horrifying mouth. Remember, this is, at heart, a self-portrait, not simply a creature design project; YOUR face and YOUR likeness are key. I strongly suggest that you take some time to properly browse the blogs of your classmates to put your own sluggishness into proper perspective. Also, I’d like you to visit 2nd year Leo Tsang’s unit 1 blog from last year for an example of what a great ‘creative development’ blog can look like; the brief was a little different then, but the expectation of what a student can produce in 5 weeks was not. Take the time to work backwards through his posts. This is what a creative project at degree level looks like…

  3. You ask for feedback on your life-drawing; my first impression of it is simply this (and many students have received similar advice) – it looks bloody awful! No – not the drawings themselves (it’s clear that you’ve got a way to go before you can confidently depict the human body, but getting you there is the job of those life drawing classes) – no, I’m talking about the awful quality of the photographs. There is absolutely no point in putting work into the public sphere that is inadequately presented. Your drawings look grubby, under-exposed, yellowed and unappealing. It always amazes me that students can be happy presenting themselves thus. What I suggest you do is take the time to post-produce your sketches etc. in Photoshop; I’m not talking about re-touching or colouring in – I just mean alter the levels and colour balance to knock out the yellow cast, and bring up the contrasts to add impact to your mark making. For a very clear example of how exciting and bold your drawings can become with just a bit of thought and effort, visit Dan’s drawings at

    and Domantas’s drawings here:

    and Oriskalodes’ work at

  4. Regarding your reviews; it’s good you’re using quotes as directed, but stylistically you’re marooning them outside of your argument – without proper introduction or reflecting on their content and how they reflect/contradict your views. Again, I’ve taken the time previously to highlight reviews posted by other students that represent good technique and the level of enquiry expected of degree level students; return to the The Post With The Most on the group blog and take the time to read what’s there and how it’s written.

    I couldn’t find any posts relating to your proposed written assignment? I suggest you put a post together asap outlining your intentions….

    A general reminder that, alongside everything else you need to have ready for crit day, you also need to submit an offline archive of your creative development blog. There is a way of exporting your blog as PDF via Blogger – which would be ideal for this purpose. Incase you missed the original post, Alan gives details here:

    And finally – now is the time to return to the brief; time and again, students fail to submit what they’ve been asked to produce – and how; usually because they haven’t looked properly at the brief, or haven’t done so since week one. Trust me on this; just take a few minutes with a highlighter pen to identify what is required, when, and how. Remember – non-submissions are dumb!