‘Consuming Spirits’: A Film Review

- September 26, 2012

"Chris Sullivan spent 15 years working on this film, finally releasing it to mostly positive reviews"

This blog is written on behalf of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and will serve as an honest, unbiased review of a few films that will be screening this year. Hopefully, these reviews will inspire conversation and discussion amongst other viewers and encourage the over all appreciation and dissection of this art we call film.

Chris Sullivan’s " Consuming Spirits" is an animated film that utilizes an array of styles, from hand-drawn to stop-motion, paper doll figures and photography to tell the tale of three people working for a newspaper in the Appalachian town of Magguson. This choice in imagery creates a collage of visual intrigue and adds a sense of whimsy and nostalgia to a rather slow plot.

While the animation keeps the brain’s interest, the actual narrative of the film remains highly ambiguous for over half of its 135 minute run time. The audience is introduced to three characters with no obvious connection to each other, the plot line jumping amongst them at seemingly random times with aimless cutaways to an unknown event from the past. Slowly, the threads of the story start to weave together when the main character gives his criminal confession that connects the scattered pieces of history and explains the relationships between characters.

Chris Sullivan spent 15 years working on this film, finally releasing it to mostly positive reviews. Much like its making, this is a film that requires endurance to follow all its' paths that will eventually lead to an ending that is ultimately well worth it. Sullivan’s visual style is completely unique, enough to keep you fascinated while the plot makes its way to the explanation that makes it all pay off.

Rachel Anderson hails from the land of Portland, Oregon and is currently a film student at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Having been an avid film watcher from an early age, she is interested in film simply for the love of it. While not in school or working part time at a theater, she seeks as much involvement and experience as possible in the industry.