UK | 2013 | 12 min
Film by Seamus Harahan
Cold Open is six sequences from a larger series, filmed over a year. Notable are the points of view characteristic of Harahan's style: the camera points either upwards or looks down. When his lens is pointing up, it is usually at a feature of the sky or nature, with a sense of freedom from the anxiety which accompanies his CCTV-like scrutiny of youngsters in slightly menacing gatherings. The opening sequence of this short film has a couple discuss the husband's drinking habits and public image, with a morning scene of rain-soaked branches. The mood is easy-going. Later, a group of young teen boys are observed play-acting violence towards each other, or perhaps not play-acting. The music varies between traditional gaelic and rock. In the final sequence, a group of youngsters is gathered around a pram. The novelty here is the presence of teenage women, perhaps including a young mother. The film ends with Harahan widening the view to place this group of youngsters in their surroundings, which look alarmingly like the middle of a busy road. Once again Harahan, though not unsympathetic to his anonymous subjects, places them in the viewer's mind as possible outcasts within their society and definitely alienated from the viewer's own.