“TIDELAND”— Dark Daydreams


Dark Daydreams

Amos Lassen

Director Terry Gilliam’s (Time Bandits, Twelve Monkeys) adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s celebrated cult novel “Tideland”, is said to be his most personal work. To escape her unhappy life in a remote part of Texas, nine-year-old Jeliza-Rose (Jodell Ferland) dreams up an elaborate fantasy world. But the reality of having junkie parents – played by Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Tilly and the influence of her eccentric neighbors make her daydreams quite dark. This is a dark Southern gothic film that shifts between the amusing and the macabre with expressive camerawork and striking special effects.

After making up her parents’ drug needles, Jeliza-Rose plays with dolls as her friends. When circumstances dictate a move to the Texan wilderness, she continues to enjoy her solitary lifestyle. “Tideland” is bleak and creepy, but at the same time charming, and visionary. everything you’d expect from Terry Gilliam. During the first half we simply watch Jeliza-Rose play. This could have easily become voyeuristic, but the perfect level of fantasy is seen through, bringing the audience into Jeliza-Rose’s world, without making it unrealistic.

Dell (Janet McTeer) and Dickens (Brendan Fletcher) bring levels of human interaction into Jeliza-Rose’s solitary existence, as well as further weirdness, and ultimately hope. There’s much to be unsettled by, but Jeliza-Rose takes it largely in her stride, emphasizing the film’s central message, which is the resilience of children. The acting is excellent throughout and Ferland is very talented for one so young. She carries the film and deserves praise for its success.

Bonus Materials

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Commentary by writer-director Terry Gilliam and co-writer Tony Grisoni
  • Introduction by director Terry Gilliam
  • Getting Gilliam, a 45-minute documentary on the making of Tideland by Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice)
  • The Making of Tideland featurette
  • Filming Green Screen featurette with commentary by Gilliam
  • Interviews with Terry Gilliam, producer Jeremy Thomas and actors Jeff Bridges, Jodelle Ferland and Jennifer Tilly
  • Deleted scenes with commentary by Gilliam
  • B-roll footage
  • Gallery
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two choices of original artwork
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell

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