John Bergin is a very interesting illustrator. He’s out there. He’s got a touch of gonzo to his style. He’s a cross between Ralph Steadman, Dave McKean and Tomi Ungerer. Just the sort of chap you’d want to guide you through a dystopian nightmare such as “From Inside,” his animated adaptation to his graphic novel of the same name.
We follow, Cee, a pregnant young woman on a strange trip into oblivion. We go from dark to light and back to dark and end up somewhere in between. It’s the poetic sensibility than runs throughout that carries you through some of the more grim aspects. But it’s nothing more grim than you’d find in other artful and subversive works. To give you an easy frame of reference, if you liked Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” then you will appreciate this.
Megan Gold, as the pregnant Cee, is captivating. She describes her journey on a colossal train speeding through desolate countryside with a wonderfully deadened tone. She evokes a person who is mostly resigned to a bleak fate. Maybe there’s some hope, but not so much. The only thing that seems certain is that the big trains will continue to feed their insatiable hunger for fuel and belch out endless streams of black smoke.
Bergin has done a remarkable job of transforming his original graphic novel into an animated feature. It’s really quite an achievement and worth every frame. All the scenes featuring the fierce momentum of the big train alone are priceless. The swelling, sometimes frenetic, sometimes melancholic, tempo of the score by Gary Numan and Ade Fenton is mesmerizing. I think what some readers may find off-putting regarding the tone and content in the graphic novel is made more accessible and compelling through this dazzling work. We are dealing here with Apocalyptic Relativism and that can seem all the more heavy-handed within the framework of static pages.
From Inside has screened in over 35 film festivals around the world and garnered Winner: Best Animated Film at the prestigious SITGES International Film Festival; Winner: Best Feature at Utopiales; Winner: First Feature at Fantasia, to name a few.
From Inside is available from MVD Visual right here.