Animation Breakdown presents: Consuming Spirits (4/18, 4:30pm)

“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. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REVIEW!

“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

“There’s a billboard depicted in Chris Sullivan’s animated wonder ‘Consuming Spirits’ advertising beer that promises “the taste that haunts the lips.” The same goes for the film. You’ve likely never tasted anything quite like it.” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“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

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

Painstakingly created over the course of the last fifteen years, Chris Sullivan’s debut animated feature is an absolute marvel to behold. Employing multiplane cut-outs, drawings on paper and stop motion (all shot on 16mm), Sullivan weaves a psychologically dense chronicle of a crumbling Rust Belt town, and the intermingled lives of three lonely souls who work at its local newspaper. Unfolding like a vision quest from the mind of a memory-haunted insomniac, it tenderly navigates its ugly characters down twisted paths upon which their pasts, fears, and longings converge. This is a totally singular and eerie landscape, dotted with ghost-ridden farmhouses, midnight car accidents, late night radio broadcasts and the world’s oldest cat. Painted with frequent strokes of unexpected humor and rendered with a beautifully rough hewn craft emphasizing its characters’ fragility, it emerges as a quiet feature-length epic unlike anything you’ve ever seen: adult, complex and brimming with the irrepressible spirit of American independent filmmaking.
Dir. Chris Sullivan, 2012, digital presentation, 136 min.

Watch the trailer for “Consuming Spirits”!