Tides: The Right Step for Future British Filmmakers | Review

Tides is Tupaq Felber's feature length directorial debut and what a brilliant way to introduce yourself. This movie was at BFI's London Film Festival in 2017 but has recently found itself available on the On Demand websites.

Tides follows four friends down the canals of South England as they go on their "holibobs" all the while dodging the conversation of what has bought them together. Felber said the boat was picked up "Friday at 1pm and [they] dropped it off the following Monday at 9am" over these days they accrued 17.5 hours of footage. The film is said to be "loosely scripted" which lends to its incredibly naturalistic style. There's nothing extraordinary or showy about Tides and yet it works perfectly for the story it is trying to serve.

I loved this film for the silences. The moments where a character has finished interacting with the others and was alone. Jon has a moment like this, as does Red and it reminds me so fully of being present in one place and yet being entirely detached and in your own thoughts. It had a feel of French New Wave with the decision to shoot in black and white and the fast tempo conversations and naturalism. It explores the exhaustion of real life and relationships between people in an honest and sincere way.

What strikes me as the most original part of this film is the encouraging sign it gives for the future of independent British cinema. I always see in our mainstream that we spend a lot of time exploring period or war-time stories and yet these types of films are what American independent cinema is doing so successfully and what we should be striving to keep up with. It's a brilliant positive light for the future of independent directors here in the UK.

The humour and conversations are incredibly British with skirting around the subject of money and not wanting to start fights whilst wanting the other person to know exactly how you're feeling. They were things we can all recognise in ourselves and whilst each character reflected different themes we have all done something each of them have done. Even the earnest moments were sincere with the almost inarticulate babbling coming from a drunk Red about a documentary she watched about a couple that was married 50 years. Her point was sweet and meaningful but it wasn't a grand moment inside the narrative that was unearned, it fit in perfectly with the pace of the piece.

Tides was a brilliant watch. It was an excellent exploration of friendship and a thoughtful reflection on what makes us all human. Nothing about this was stylised or glamourised, it didn't need to be. Every moment felt justified and every conversation was recognisable. A piece everyone involved with the making of should be proud to have accomplished. 

Tides is available to watch online at the BFI Player & CHILI.

(don't hold me to this but I also think there's a code on CHILI called FREECHILI that gets you one free film)

Until next time

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