Video: Angela Carter and Neil Jordan Discuss The Company of Wolves

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Still from Channel 4 ‘Visions’ (1984)

A Channel 4 television interview with Angela Carter and Neil Jordan is now available on YouTube. The interview was part of the Channel 4 series ‘Visions’, produced by Large Door, and focuses on the cinematic adaptation of Carter’s short story, ‘The Company of Wolves’. John Ellis, one of the producers of the show and now Professor of Media Arts at Royal Holloway University of London, has kindly uploaded this interview and many other Large Door productions to YouTube.

Large Door was set up in 1982 in order to produce ‘Visions’ and produced a number of other shows besides, working through the 1980s and 1990s. ‘Visions’, which focused largely on cinema, ran for only a few years, ending in 1986. You can read more about both Large Door and ‘Visions’ here.

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Large Door Productions 1984

The episode of ‘Visions’ that featured interviews with Neil Jordan and Angela Carter was originally transmitted on Channel 4 television on 17th October 1984. In her interview, Carter fondly recalls her grandmother telling her the story of Red Riding Hood, and of how the old woman would leap upon her causing both terror and delight. From here, Carter then turns to the grandmother in The Company of Wolves, noting that she tells stories to protagonist Rosaleen in order to put her off the wolves. With a knowing chuckle Carter adds that “we know what that means!” Carter discusses a number of other topics in the course of the interview, including the ways in which human beings project their own qualities onto animals and how she sees ‘The Company of Wolves’ as a menstrual story.

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Large Door Productions 1984

Neil Jordan begins his interview by discussing the lack of adult intelligence in fairy tale-like films of the early 1980s and of how he was attracted to the idea of adapting Carter’s story for the cinema precisely because it featured such intelligence alongside the child-like wonder. Developing this later in the interview, Jordan also suggests that most American films are made for young boys. With The Company of Wolves, by contrast, Jordan claims that he would like to imagine boys and girls both enjoying the film. Although he voices his anxiety about imitating other films, Jordan does note the influence that Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter (1955) played on his own film, such as can be seen in the two shots below:

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The Company of Wolves (1984)
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The Night of the Hunter (1955)

 

You can watch the interview below:

or click here.

 

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