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CONSUMING SPIRITS

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$7 Member   $12.50 Regular

PRODUCED, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER SULLIVAN

Christopher Sullivan’s animated dystopia is about as far from a cartoon-for-kids as they come. Relationships among the three main characters – Earl Gray, Gentian Violet, and Victor Blue - multiply and divide as their stories becomes increasingly complex, hilarious, and scary. The Huffington Post writes of the film’s “insanely meticulous construction” and continues: “The animation took 15 years of work… The characters were hand-drawn onto layers of glass which were then moved with needles and pins. The film seamlessly combines cutout animation, pencil drawing, collage, and stop-motion animation to create the haunting atmosphere of a self-contained world… (most of whose) characters walk shakily between self-medication and a bad trip… ugly characters (who) make up the most beautiful spectacle you’ve ever seen.”

USA • 2012 • 129 MINS.

REVIEWS

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“CRITICS’ PICK!  A dark and painful fantasy for grown-ups… A work of obsessive artisanal discipline and unfettered artistic vision. You have never seen anything like it. At least not in a movie theater, and not recently. This achingly sad, occasionally grotesque story of family secrets, sexual longings and small-town malaise, told through drawings, paper cutouts and miniature models, has more in common with intimate graphic novels like David Small’s Stitches or Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home than with any live-action indie melodrama I can think of. The wintry, northern, class-divided setting might resonate with readers of Joyce Carol Oates. But the blend of narrative quasi-realism and wild, somber visual invention is entirely original…This remarkable film…conducts its inquiry into the darkest zones of the human heart in a spirit at once anguished and playful…A wonder.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Click here to read the full review.

“Impressive. Visually mesmerizing. A must for any grown-up an animation connoisseur.”
– New York Magazine

“Emotionally raw, thoroughly original…The entire world he’s built is constructed of ugliness shot through with moments of unexpected beauty. His narrative is the same… small moments of beauty and redemption sneak through.”
– Ian Buckwalter, NPR online

“Must-see!  It’s like Todd Solondz went to town with scissors.”
– DeAnna Janes, DailyCandy

****! [4 stars]
[4 stars]
“A sprawling, slithering, stream-of-consciousness tale… a moribund, rust-belt dreamland. This is the rare animated feature whose subtext is as rich as its sensuality... CONSUMING SPIRITS (is) not only a monstrous visual achievement, but one of the most uniquely humanistic animated features of all time.”

– Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant

“Undeniably compelling, whether he’s channeling Grant Wood’s paintings or Robert Crumb’s  monochromatic sketches.”
– David Fear, Time Out New York

“(An) odd, beautiful ride.  Covers a variety of visual styles, from traditional hand-drawn line art on tracing paper to collaged paper characters to stop-motion done with toys and models. The film comes together into a single, powerful narrative based around the bitter longing for love and the disappointment when it isn’t reciprocated in the right ways, or to the right degrees.”
– Tasha Robinson, The Onion

“Every frame in Chris Sullivan's American Gothic saga aches and echoes from a place of unique artistry, meticulous craftsmanship and great imagination.  It is the little touches, the small world-building and grounding details that make CONSUMING SPIRITS feel so rich and so worthwhile. It is adult animation at its best and most unique, and a film which exudes the true spirit of American independent filmmaking.”
– Ben Umstead, TwitchFilm.com

Trailer

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