Consuming Spirits is a feature length animated psychological drama, created
frame by frame with multi plane cut out animation and drawings on paper. It was all
shot on 16mm, with final exhibition format Quicktime, or HDCAM.
Consuming Spirits chronicling the lives of three characters who live in a rustbelt town called Magusson, and work at its local newspaper The Daily Suggested. They are:
Earl Gray: 67 tall and formidable, previously handsome. Local radio and paper
personality, publicly notorious, for his program and column, Gardeners Corners. Earl is a divorce well known in public, but personally lonesome .He lives in the ghost ridden old family farmhouse. With The worlds oldest cat Pufferballs.
Gentian Violet: 42 newspaper paste up employee at the paper, competent but anonymous employee, who gathers small community, Jobs, Bus driver, Museum guide. She lives with her Alzheimer’s stricken Mother Ida in their house in the town of Magusson. She is dating Victor Blue in the small moments of privacy she can salvage.
Victor Blue: 38 Works at the paper, and has lived his life as a terminal social
service project, with every step of his existence set up by his case worker. He often eats meals, does laundry and even bathes at Genny”s. Genny and he are an amateur Irish musical duo, The Shalelies.
Bio and filmography of Chris Sullivan:
I was born and raised in the wooded hills of Pittsburgh Pa. along with 10 siblings. A product of my British mother Beryl, and my Irish American father Lawrence. They met in England during WW2. I now live in Chicago, where I make my work, teach at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and am father to Carmen and Silvia Abelson.
I have been creating experimental film and theater for 30 years. I have shown my work in festivals, theaters and museums world wide, including Zagreb World Festival of Animation; Humboldt Film Festival; Ann Arbor Film Festival; Ottawa Animation Festival; Guggenheim Museum; Boston Museum; Tribeca Film Festival , Osian’s Cinefest in India , in Haifa film festival, Chicago international, Milano, Vancouver International, Pacific Film Archives Denver Starz; and New Yorks, Film Forum in December Boston . Consuming Spirits began production in earnest in 1999 after receiving funding by a fellowship from The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and then equal funding came in the next year from Artist The Rockefeller Foundation Film Fellowship.
Just as Consuming Spirits is finally finished, Chris received a Creative Capital Grant to start work on another experimental feature. The Orbit of Minor Satellites. http://creative-capital.org/projects/view/705 photos.
Reviews and profiles of consuming spirits:
Tribeca Premiere, and Film Forum Theatrical run:
“Critic’s Pick. Entirely original. . .an inquiry into the darkest zones of the human heart. weaves a complicated, intoxicating spell…a wonder.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times FULL REVIEW: http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/movies/consuming-spirits-ananimated-film-by-chris-sullivan.html
****[Four Stars!] A monstrous visual achievement… one of the most uniquely
humanistic animated features of all time.” -Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant
FULL REVIEW: http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/consuming-spirits/6737
“Recommended! An emotionally raw, thoroughly original film, a labor of painstaking
love 15 years in the making….a haunted reverie…constructed of ugliness shot through
with moments of unexpected beauty” — Ian Buckwalter, NPR
FULL REVIEW: http://www.npr.org/2012/12/11/166681140/a-consuming-portrait-of appalachian- life.
“There is little use for traditional judgments of good and bad in Sullivan’s animated world, where two hours of ugly characters make up the most beautiful spectacle you’ve ever seen. Priscilla Frank, Huffington Post
“Consuming Spirits is a sad tale to remind us all that sadness is — in its own way — a beautiful thing. It is adult animation at its best and most unique, and a film which
exudes the true spirit of American independent filmmaking.” Ben Umstead, Twitch