There are still over one hundred functioning canals in England covering over two thousand miles of navigable waterways. In their heyday they played an integral role in Britain’s industrial revolution, transporting good across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Today, they still play an important commercial role but are increasingly becoming a way for people to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life. Southern England’s watercourses provide the verdant backdrop for Tupaq Felber’s feature debut, Tides.
Despite knowing nothing about canals or boats, Jon (Jon Foster) has arranged for a group of friends to get together and spend three nights travelling the waterways. At first Zooby (Jamie Zubairi), Red (Robyn Isaac) and Simon (Simon Meacock) are slightly tentative, but as the alcohol flows they soon revert to their past camaraderie. It gradually becomes clear that there’s an elephant in the cabin that no one wants to mention.
Filmed in vivid monochrome, Tides is a strange film which shouldn’t really work. On the surface, it’s a bunch of friends drunkenly prattling on about past misdeeds and their slightly obnoxious lives. However, underneath something much grander begins to form. A comfortable bonhomie which reveals much more in the subtext. Paul O’Callaghan cinematography provides wonderful scenery for the animals to frolic in. Tides is an odd yet immersive experience. A film which slowly seeps into your psyche.
- Q&A with director, co-writer and editor Tupaq Felber and cast members Jon Foster, Robyn Isaac and Simon Meacock
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- ‘On the Water’ montage
Tides is released on DVD by AX1 Films on 11 February.