Dir.: Tupaq Felber | Cast: Jon Foster, Robin Isaac, Simon Meacock, James Zubari, Amanda Rawnsley | UK 2017, 100′
Tupaq Felber’s monochrome musings of four friends touring the canals of southern England is impressively shot but too oblique and banal to really make the same meaningful impact as, say, Andrew Kötting’s stylish Swandown, another recent British ‘roadie’.
This blokish (+ a token girl) bonding trip takes a very long time to get going – the boat-owner’s instructions to the crew tell you everything you never wanted to know about canal boats – TIDES nearly comes to a standstill when they all get gets drunk and incoherent. Amanda (Rawnsley) is the only woman on board, but is staying only for one night. There are some nasty comments about Amanda’s parsimonious behaviour, which it soon when she tries to get out of paying her way for food and boat rental. The all-men crew then meanders around and it becomes clear that Jon (Foster) is dealing with a personal tragedy – but neither he or his mates shed any light on the circumstances. The only concrete fact we learn we learn about actor Simon (Meacock), married with a young child wife, is that his part as one of three ‘suspects’ in a long-running soap-opera, will be ‘killed off’ soon. TIDES would make a great twenty-minute short, but the narrative never comes near to justifying the running time. AS