Wednesday attended the two screenings of From Inside as part of the Dead Channels Festival at the Roxie Theatre, Friday night and Sunday afternoon. The audience members were a mix of tattooed-hair-dyed goth punks and average looking 30-something fans of animation wanting to see the "new blood." In total about 25-30 people were in attendance. Ironically, San Francisco experienced its first rains of autumn within hours following the first screening, as if in honor of From Inside's torrents of blood raining from the sky. However, the second screening fell on a bright balmy Sunday severely contrasting any dour outlook you have when the movie is over.
The graphic novel From Inside, written, painted and inked by John Bergin, was published in 1992 by Kitchen Sink Press. It has remained timeless in showing how vulnerable humans are to the whims of the people around them as they are the only survivors of a nuclear attack. Its characters are traveling on a train, just barely holding onto life. The main character, Cee, faces bleak prospects, being in her last trimester of pregnancy. She's dealing with some denial about what's to come. In the transformation of page to screen, the drama unravels steadily with a subtle narration by Corryn Cummins, balanced by a dark, ominous score from Jeff Rona and a sound design by Dustin Blegstad that draws us into the post-apocalyptic journey. Bergin's panels become richly animated with flowing rivers of blood and billowing caustic black smoke. Faces of fellow passengers beckon for hope in some of the most vivid images of despair. Bergin chooses to use animation techniques that delay the action and hold onto moments, which honors the quiet doom that permeates throughout the story. Some scenes from the book have more of an impact when animated such as when they come upon the herd of buffalo. Unfortunately, the story reveals all too well that perseverance is futile.
The novel-to-film process began for Bergin in mid-2005 and is well detailed on his blog. In order to stay updated on the movie's festival run, follow John Bergin's blog and Wednesday's Korner using Google Reader to subscribe to the blogs in order to view all the new posts.