FEATURE TRAILER: “Consuming Spirits”

Fifteen years in the making, Consuming Spirits is a newly completed mixed-media animation feature by Chicago-based Chris Sullivan. The 130-minute film will screen as part of the Tribeca Film Festival between April 23-25. The haunting Midwestern Gothic mood of the trailer drew me right in, and the story appears to have plenty of twists and turns. The description:

Consuming Spirits chronicles the lives of three characters who live in a rust belt town called Magguson, and work at its local newspaper The Daily Suggester. They are: Gentian Violet, 42, Victor Blue, 38, and Earl Gray 64, first appear to be acquaintances. But as the film unfolds, we find they have a long diabolical history, revolving around social service intervention, and foster care, romance and hatred. Each character has family secrets to hide, and family secrets to discover. An auto accident one dark and inebriated night, causes a crack in the memory vault of these intimate strangers. By films end, all parties walk from the woods, both healed and wounded.

(Thanks, Jacob Angelo)


  • The Gee

    Well.

    130 minutes is a long feature.

    I don’t mean to piggy-back on your comment but someone should probably make a comment, so:
    “The haunting Midwestern Gothic mood of the trailer drew me right in, and the story appears to have plenty of twists and turns.”

    Yes. It is probably a lot more than most stories. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Charles Bukowski. For some reason, there’s been animated shorts based on his short stories and some of his poems. If someone is going to do it then they will, right?

    With this feature: it has aspirations. I got less of a Midwestern Gothic vibe from it than something closer to the South. But, I really don’t know what Midwestern Gothic is, so maybe that mood is indeed there.

    There’s a lot to the trailer. While the drawing style isn’t making me go: ohboyboyohboy oh boy!

    The trailer makes me curious enough. It mixes up the animation techniques and it seems cohesive for such a long, indy production. It also seems like the flick would be similar a big, weird graphic novel.

    130 minutes is a long feature. 15 years is a long time. If it is good, I hope it is well received. And, I hope it is good and well received.

  • D

    This looks promising. I hope this makes more festival rounds. Like the person above pointed out some of the animation is rough, I would say dated but heck fifteen years in the making will do that to any film. I am however nonetheless intrigued. I loved the mixture of styles, sense of atmosphere and fractal storyline. Its about time something unique such as a wonderfully diverse mixed media film comes out, I’ve been finding a majority of mainstream theatrical releases and many festival circuit animated films to be highly derivative and stagnant. That being said the 130 minute run time worries me a bit but who cares bottom line we need more pieces of animation like this. I hope this airs at many more festivals and gets a dvd release in the future.

  • http://stillworkingonthat chris sullivan

    hello Gee and D. and all those at Cartoon Brew, and thank Amid Amidi I think your concerns and compliments are well placed.
    The film really came out of writing, and the amount of language is what made the film get to its length. The film is visually experimental, and many of the things are do with the characters are strange, like john Cassavetes, or Dennis potter,. But the film is very much a film that you watch emotionally and intellectually, and I think that the characters do come to life, despite them being technically rough around the edges. I like there to be cracks in the film both in terms of the narrative, and the visual world. I enjoy the hallucinatory possibilities with animation. and I think this film takes advantage of this. I also was very interested in animating very slow conversations, something that is often done in live action but rarely in animation. Hope you can see the whole film soon.

    Starting development of a new feature, years away, but enjoying the writing and development process. Hope you can see the whole film soon.

    also will be putting up a making of Video in the next week. Chris Sullivan

  • chris sullivan

    p.s. here is a link to the very beginnings of the new film
    The Orbit of Minor Satellites
    funded by creative capital.

    http://creative-capital.org/projects/view/705

  • chris sullivan

    here is an interview from the films Tribeca debut,

    check it out Chris .
    http://www.avclub.com/articles/transcending-tribeca-chris-sullivan-of-consuming-s,73446/