13 Jan 2022
Alan Hall & Gráinne Good
Gráinne Good, Alan Hall
After a spontaneous hook up, Sam (Alan Hall) and Sinéad (Gráinne Good) rekindle the lost romance of their youth. Is this a chance for them to start anew or are their other commitments too big a hurdle to overcome?
Guitar strings reverberate. A bittersweet melody forms over a sequence of shots of the couple looking at one another. Their eyes meet, their hands’ press against each other. As they touch, the memory of their love surfaces. The tempo of the music picks up, it verges on excitement. Their hands move together, dancing. They push through the centre of the screen into focus as everything around them fades into a soft blur. A beautiful cinematic opening.
Then comes the rude awakening. The couple are forced to confront reality and the serious discussions of ‘what next?’ begin. Even though much of the dialogue is hard to swallow, Good and Hall truly sell the feeling of the narrative with their performances. The tenderness in their longing glances. The gentleness of their voices. The intimacy of their relationship feels believable. They make the everyday tragedy of an opportunity for a new beginning feel like the only thing that matters in the world. Together they give nuanced, filmic performances that justify the minimalistic style. The sparse bedroom set works mostly as a blank canvas allowing some variety in movement, but the visuals are largely structured around punctuating close-ups. The sound design works to distil the actors’ voices and is manipulated at times to isolate the couple’s memories to great dramatic effect.
The film is bookended by a second montage. During the finale, there is a heart-fluttering visual expression that is a little clunky in execution but expresses the sentiment of the short as succinctly as the opening. This kind of experimentation is what makes watching short films exciting. The kind of risks that pay off.
Ultimately, Another Day is a very accomplished short in which every member of the crew seems to contribute to more than one core aspect of the film. It is visually and audibly emotive thanks to DoP-editor Alba Skottowe and sound designer-musician Michael Smith. Producer-writer-performers Alan Hall and Gráinne Good are compelling and engaging on-screen. Altogether this comprises an impressive fully-formed directorial debut for director-editor Daniel Topic. It is a joy to see the convergence of such talent to craft what is undeniably a moving experience.