Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Company of Wolves (1984)

Because Red Riding Hood was released in theaters this week (and I am not going to throw the money down to see what is most likely a horrible movie) I rented The Company of Wolves instead.  This movie confused the hell out of me.  Its lead actress, Sarah Patterson, was fantastic and it turns out she only acted in one other film before quitting the business and supposedly starting a family.  What a shame; she held her own against Angela Lansbury and easily out-acted David Warner.

The movie is a dream/nightmare within a dream, hence all of they symbolism, imagery, and resulting confusion.  After reading about this film, it appears its whole double meaning went right over my head.  It turns out that Red Riding Hood is about the emerging sexuality/menstruation of a girl.  Who knew?  The girl must not 'stray from the path', the beasts will abuse you after they have had their way with you, the death of granny and the burning of the red shawl is really her saying goodbye to granny's protection and accepting the onset of adulthood, etc...  I suppose it does work at that level, but was I really supposed to pick up on all of this during the film?  If I was, I absolutely failed. 

I will never think about the Red Riding Hood story the same way again now that I know it's really a Brother's Grimm meets Judy Blume scenario.  When it comes time to teach my daughter about the birds and the bees, I'll just tell her to read Red Riding Hood, but between the lines.

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