. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)


Posted by | Jessica Bardsley | Posted on | September 7, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 6:00 pm | Special preview screening! Chris Sullivan in person!

Image from Consuming Spirits (Chris Sullivan, 2009). Image courtesy the artist.

Chris Sullivan’s works are among “the most honest, potent, and thoughtful of all animated films.”–Chris Robinson, Unsung Heroes of Animation

Over a decade in the making, Consuming Spirits (2011) is the hypnotic and elegiac feature film by award-winning animator and SAIC faculty member, Chris Sullivan. Set in a dreary rustbelt town, the film follows late-night radio host Earl Gray; wilting violet Genny, who cares for her foul-mouthed, Alzheimer’s-stricken mother; and Genny’s sometime boyfriend Victor Blue, whose days teeter at the edge of sobriety. While driving home one evening, Genny hits a nun in full habit on the highway. The accident sets off a string of events that reveal a long and twisted history between Genny, Earl, and Victor, involving family dysfunction, foster care, and old wounds longing to heal. Sullivan’s intricate hand-drawn and cut-out animations telegraph his characters’ complicated emotions while also depicting the minute tragedies and triumphs that make up a life. Chris Sullivan, 2011, USA, 16mm on HDCAM, 125 min plus discussion.

CHRIS SULLIVAN (b. 1960, Pittsburgh, PA) is an animator and performance artist whose experimental narratives have screened in the U.S. and internationally at the MOMA, New York, NY; Whitney Biennial, New York, NY; Boston Art Museum, Boston, MA; Flaherty Film Seminar, NY; Black Maria 20th Anniversary Show, MOMA, New York, NY; Short Film Expo, Ottawa, Zagreb, and New York; “Animation Celebration,” Los Angeles, CA; and Black Maria Film and Video Festival, Ann Arbor MI. He has performed at a variety of venues including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Franklin Furnace, New York, NY; LACE, Los Angeles, CA; and Randolph Street, Chicago, IL. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship; Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship; Bush Foundation Fellowship; Illinois Arts Council Fellowship; and an NEA Regional Fellowship. He is a Professor of Animation in the Film, Video, New Media and Animation department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Chris Sullivan interviewed by F News contributor Russell Gottwaldt

Chris Sullivan at Canyon Cinema