Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Company of Tervurens

Inspired by the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and based on a short story by Angela Carter, The Company of Wolves (1984) is a surreal and symbolic film featuring one-of-a-kind canine footage.

The film opens with a handsome German Shepherd Dog racing through a wood and along a road to a mansion. He enters and climbs the stairs to the closed bedroom door of a teenage girl. Here reality fades and dreams begin: A pack of about fifteen Belgian Tervurens dominate the canine scene; chasing the teen through a fairy tale forest, being dressed up as courtly lords and ladies while sitting at long dinning tables, crashing through a window and a paper canvas.

There are few films at all featuring Tervurens.
The Company of Wolves is the clear standout among them for any fans of the breed. Besides the GSD and Tervs, there are two other dogs given brief screen appearances and a wolf. Although the filmmakers were able to get a few decent shots of the wolf, it is clear from watching that the animal should not have been on the set at all; panting, cowering, and rolling its eyes in every shot. 

The other dogs are an Alaskan Malamute and GSD mix, both of whom double for the wolf in the film.

Pictured: A Belgian Tervuren leaps through a painting in a slow motion scene near the end of The Company of Wolves.

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