Alice in Wonderland meets Psycho. Adapted from Mitch Cullin’s novel, Tideland is a story that explores the resilience of a child and how she survives in bizarre circumstances. Starring Jeff Bridges, the film drifts between reality and fantasy, and is director Terry Gilliam at his most unrestrained. This unique and incredible film, infused with amazing performances and beautiful photography, is poetic and darkly funny. Enter the magical world of Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland), an unusual child with an even more unusual story. Hers is a world where squirrels talk, where fireflies have names, and where the heads of dolls, long since separated from their bodies, are her closest friends.
Terrence Vance Gilliam was born in Minnesota on 22 November 1940. After eleven early years of a Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer-type childhood (his description), his family moved to LA. There he was a witness to the Hollywood system, from the fringes. As a kid, his drawing and cartooning skills developed. After graduating from school where he apparently excelled at pole vaulting, Gilliam went to the Occidental College, studying Physics, which he later changed to Politics. In his last year at college, Gilliam sent copies of his college magazine work to comic maestro Harvey Kurtzman in New York.
Kurtzman was running a magazine called Help!, and was impressed. When writer Charles Alverson left the magazine, a vacancy arose, and Gilliam took a job there. He spent the next three years there – writing, designing and drawing – but being paid very little. During the time at Help!, he met John Cleese, who was roped in to star in a photo-story spoof – as a guilt-ridden man involved in an… read more
This film is masterful. Rough around the edges like most Gilliam films but masterful none the less. The emotions and imagery run deep. Perhaps one of the few films I've ever seen to really place me in the mind of a small child. Beautiful and definitely underrated. One of Gilliam's best.