Wednesday, September 19, 2012

viff | consuming spirits

It's not immediately apparent why this film is listed among the festival's Religion, Spirituality & Myth heading, but...  I'm intrigued.

Consuming Spirits
(USA, 2012, 130 mins, HDCAM)

Oct 05 08:30 pm Granville 5
Oct 07 05:00 pm Granville 6
Oct 10 09:15 pm Pacific Cinematheque

In this spiralling animated tale, the seemingly unrelated misadventures of three down-at-heel Rust Belt grotesques gradually entangle in a single affecting narrative. Twisting its way to a transcendent closing chapter, Consuming Spirits immerses viewers in an extraordinary viewing experience. Fifteen years in the making, Chris Sullivan’s bittersweet, handcrafted labour of love is truly something to behold.

During his ubiquitous Garrison Keillor-like radio broadcasts in the rundown community of Magguson, Earl Gray’s folksy musings routinely segue into bizarre digressions, capably setting the film’s unhinged tone. However, heed Gray when he advises, "Though I ramble… All that I say is vital." As we’re introduced to lonely Gentian Violet and emotionally damaged Victor Blue--this drama’s other key players--shards of narrative and slivers of flashbacks are assembled into a cracked-mirror reflection of small-town America. And while these three may be bound by tragedy, they also possess the capacity to grant one another absolution and release.

"The stand-out aspect of Chris Sullivan’s [film] is its insanely meticulous construction... The film seamlessly combines cutout animation, pencil drawing, collage, and stop-motion animation to create the haunting atmosphere of a self-contained world... What starts off as a collage of broken characters in perfect detail evolves into a carefully woven narrative, as delicately assembled as the pinned puppet characters. "--Priscilla Frank, Huffington Post

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