Born in a Void: Review

A captivating spectacle of sensory delight, Alex Grigg’s Born in A Void is seven computer-animated minutes of primary colors, organic shapes, and sonic joy. It’s a film that manages to simulate the sensation of being born, making you immediately a stranger to your own senses, alien to orientation. Driven by an innocent curiosity, a humanoid figure probes its environment until chancing upon its own reflection. This “self-discovery” triggers an unshakable obsession with the inner universe, and our hero becomes lost in internal exploration to the point of complete dissociation.

In Grigg’s own words, the short is about being “torn between enjoying solitude and needing connection.” The narrative is loose, but sentimental, told through a seamless transition of perspective from point-of-view to third person to reflect the character’s journey. But perhaps the greatest achievement of Born in A Void’s animation is the depth and richness of emotion articulated with such simple shapes. Without so much as eyes to communicate, the subtlest gestures do all the talking. The slighted shifts in the character’s postures convey surprise, anguish, and delight. And all this is accentuated by the brilliant sound design by Skillbard studios, giving each movement a sensational quality of playfulness and naivety, reinforcing the phenomenon of experiencing the world from the point of view of a newborn. 

The product of self-portrait experimentation, Born in A Void is an outstanding work of animation. Impressionistic and abstract, it tugs on the heart strings while speaking to the eternal dilemma of balancing the endlessly fascinating explorations of our inner and outer worlds.

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