Tideland

Swift shot: Cinematographers delight – but mild-mannered film lovers should steer well clear, this aint for you.  Look, I like weird, off-the-beaten-path films occasionally, but Tideland served to confuse and even Gilliam’s (necessary) disclaimer couldn’t save this fantasy acid-trip.  When I was a kid I liked The Little Prince, this was slightly akin to that, but a lot more deranged.

Tideland is seen through the eyes of the child inside Terry Gilliam – a little girl named Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland).  Jeliza-Rose is about to embark on a surreal journey through the land of dreams – or some trippy shit like that.  Her father is, apparently, a washed-up heroin addicted rock-n-roller, Noah, played by Mr. Versatile (Jeff Bridges).  Her mother is the perpetually bed-ridden husk of a human, the Queen Gunhilda (Jennifer Tilly) whose only source of happiness resides in her “Choc” bars – presumably chocolate in nature.

Events take place that force Noah and Jeliza-Rose to head back to Noah’s deceased mother’s house, literally in the middle of nowhere!  Shortly after arriving, Noah decides to catch some much needed sleep and takes a sweet ride on that horse with no name – and he stays trapped in that dream throughout the rest of the film.  Now it is Jeliza-Rose’s time to explore her new surroundings and she encounters a one-eyed bee keeper ghost, an epileptic with a submarine named Lisa, and a bog person that gave birth to the latter two.

What makes this film kind of interesting is when very subtle effects are used to create a feeling of either fantasy or terror, or maybe just garden variety schizophrenia – it isn’t really important.  All that matters is you have to constantly hear Gilliam’s disclaimer in your mind.  “You have to remember what it was like to be a child, to be truly innocent and see the world through those eyes.”  What he forgets to tell you is that he is clearly bat-shit insane, or he did a lot of psychedelic drugs when he was a little girl!

Gilliam fans will probably say, “Rick, you just didn’t get it.”  Thing is, I loved Time Bandits and Brazil, not a huge fan of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but I didn’t hate it.  This, I literally wanted to wipe from my memory.  It annoyed me, constantly.  Leave this one in the bin, and don’t waste a DVD on it – it’s an instant player at best.


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