A comic nightmare of three strange characters connected by unsolved crimes and the local newspaper, Christopher Sullivan’s animated slice of small-town Americana is as far from family-friendly as animated features come.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
Twisted tales of desperate lives are lethally intertwined in this wondrously detailed epic of American Gothic, the black comic masterwork of Chris Sullivan, who produced, wrote, directed, animated, photographed, edited, and composed the music over 15 years.
“Dense like a detailed graphic novel in the Chris Ware or R. Crumb vein, but a real movie in every way, Consuming Spirits is a strange and wormy accomplishment, the sort of personal epic only the most obsessive of cinematic madmen undertake, let alone complete.” — M. J. Philips, Chicago Tribune
“Mysteries proliferate. Whose bones are those in the woods, shrouded in the skin of a deer? Who is locked up in the convent that conveniently and ghoulishly doubles as an insane asylum? And how do actions arising from family love or neighborly charity cause so much damage and grief? That last question is the key to this remarkable film, which conducts its inquiry into the darkest zones of the human heart in a spirit at once anguished and playful. Mr Sullivan’s pictorial wit and storytelling brio are delightful in ways that cut against the harshness of the story without blunting its deep ache.” — A. O. Scott, NY Times