Tides (2017) **
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 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 certainly shoots the breeze and takes a 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 drunk and incoherent. Amanda (Rawnsley) is the only woman on board, for a fleeting visit. There are some nasty comments about Amanda’s parsimonious behaviour which soon surface when she justifiably tries to get out of paying nearly £200 for food and boat rental for just one night. The male crew then meander around in the water and it soon 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 that emerges about actor Simon (Meacock), married with a young child, is that his part as a ‘suspects’ in a long-running soap-opera, will soon be ‘killed off’ leaving him presumably without any means of financial support. A confident debut, TIDES would make a great twenty-minute short, but the narrative never comes near to justifying the lavish running time.
ON RELEASE NATIONWIDE 7 DECEMBER 2018 | Tupaq will also attend a special preview and Q&A with the cast on 4 December at the special barge cinema