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Structuring Strategies Presents Chris Sullivan

March 11, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 7:00pm

CalArts, Bijou Auditorium

FILM/VIDEO: Artist in Residence CHRIS SULLIVAN will screen CONSUMING SPIRITS (2013, 130min.)

Consuming Spirits is a feature length animated psychological drama, created frame by frame with multi plane cut out animation and drawings on paper. After over 15 years in production, my first animated feature Consuming Spirits is finally done. This film is an archeological dig, and a crime scene. The site has already been looted, and most evidence tampered with. With much support and help from family, friends and the many artists who have worked on the project, I will present this evidence, and these artifacts to you, in their final form. A sprawling diorama. I hope to emerge both guilty and innocent. - CS

Chris Sullivan’s work stands as a defiant exception to the rules and patterns of contemporary animation. His most recent feature, Consuming Spirits, the product of 15 years or labor, is flat, handmade and melancholy; it "conducts an inquiry into the darkest zones of the human heart in a spirit at once anguished and playful."

- A.O. Scott, The New York Times on Consuming Spirits

"Watching Consuming Spirits is like surrendering to hypnosis, or to a particularly haunting dream... And the whole movie follows suit, presenting seemingly disconnected images that turn out to have deep and painful significance in an elaborately woven, powerful story. Like the punny title, which refers both to drinking alcohol and to the secret history that controls and constrains each of the characters, Consuming Spirits has hidden depths." - Tasha Robinson, The Onion AV Club.


I was born and raised in the wooded hills of Pittsburgh, PA along with 10 siblings, a product of my British mother Beryl, and my Irish American father Lawrence. They met in England during WW2. I now live in Chicago, where I make my work, teach at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and am father to Carmen and Silvia Abelson. I have been creating experimental film and theater for 30 years. I have shown my work in festivals, theaters and museums worldwide, including Zagreb World Festival of Animation; Humboldt Film Festival; Ann Arbor Film Festival; Ottawa Animation Festival; Guggenheim Museum; Boston Museum; Tribeca Film Festival , Osian's Cinefest in India, Haifa Film festival, Chicago International, Milano, Vancouver International, Pacific Film Archives Denver Starz; and New Yorks, Film Forum in December Boston. Consuming Spirits began production in earnest in 1999 after receiving funding by a fellowship from The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and then equal funding came in the next year from Artist The Rockefeller Foundation Film Fellowship. Just after completing Consuming Spirits, I received a Creative Capital Grant to start work on another experimental feature: The Orbit of Minor Satellites. - CS

Last edited by cziemba on Mar 10, 2014
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