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The Wolves of Kromer.avi
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THE WOLVES OF KROMER (1998)
once upon a time, not so very long ago, on the outskirts of a small, beautiful village called kromer there lived two 'wolves' called seth and gabriel. they join the pack of wolves who have been cast out from their family in a life of bonfire parties and survival via petty theft and livestock munching. back in the village there are foul deeds afoot. fanny, a wicked old maid, and her simple accomplice doreen kill their mistress, frame the wolves and set a torch-bearing mob of religious zealots to seek vengeance on the pair.
narrated by boy george, this fabulous modern-day fairy-tale from england is beautifully shot and uses the lush countryside of england to great effect. the witty transposition of homophobia to a small village's virulent lycanthrophobia makes for a clever parable on the scapegoating of same-sex couples. and for many, the two main wolves, played by a couple of ex-models draped in nothing but fur coats and raggedy jeans, will be worth the price of admission.
REVIEW: The Wolves of Kromer
Quite possibly the most inventive, interesting and unique gay film I have seen in years, "The Wolves of Kromer" begins as a riff off of the "Little Red Riding Hood" fable. Of course, there really are only very loose allusions to that old story in the film.
Part fantasy, part allegory, this British film portrays as wolves and the townsfolk, in particular the town's priest, as gaybashers. Of course, it's much more deeply drawn and complex than simply this. And the two leads aren't truly wolves, per se, or even werewolves. Rather it is simply implied artistically and interestingly that they are "different" using unique costumes and their own dialogue. They is no prosthetics or "monster" make-up.
The film's wonderful and cute lead wolves, Gabriel and Seth, played by James Layton and Lee Williams, are truly a likable pair. It's important that we feel empathy for them and care what happens and, within short order, we do. The way in which director Will Gould, using a wonderful script by Charles Lambert and Matthew Read, lays out his film makes it easy for us to understand the plot and easily get the underlying subtext of the film. The wolves here are outsiders and obviously gay. It portrays gays/wolves outside of the norm, (they are despised by the townspeople), so they travel in packs, live on the outskirts of town by the river and try to remain unseen.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Layton and Williams are very, very easy to look at. Williams, especially for me, was quite attractive and perfect. His slender, fey, long-haired Seth, with his naive newness and wide-eyed innocence, easily won me over. Likewise, Layton's more masculine chiseled features left many men swooning in the screening I attended.
The townsfolk, meanwhile, once they discover that there are wolves in their midst react with obvious rage and undertake vigilante acts. There are many subtextural moments where the motivation of the male townspeople appears to be their closeted or denied homosexual feelings.
The true plot of the film might be quite repulsive to lesbians. Women play the villains here and the main antagonist of the females is quite repugnant. There is some implied lesbianism with her character and it doesn't seem particularly nice. Still, I suppose, there must be a villain in this plotline and the actress, Rita Davies, is quite wonderful in this part. She truly does seem evil. All of the older female actresses in the film are quite great in their roles, even if their characters are quite disagreeable and crinkled.
"The Wolves of Kromer" is reminiscent, in ways, of Derek Jarman's work but is much more accessible and, I suppose, less arty than that filmmaker's canon. But it's inventiveness, it's unique metaphors and it's wonderful actors and consummate direction will easily sway you to it's favors. ~~~~ Website: Most Beautiful Man:
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