“Labor of love” is a well-deserved description for Chris Sullivan’s artistic film Consuming Spirits. The 15-year project is an animated feature, shot frame-by-frame, consisting of multi-plane paper cutouts and traditional pencil-drawn cartoons. Along with careful attention to detail, a Gothic theme underlies this story of familial bonds.
The story takes its title from newspaper headline “Consuming spirits main motivation for bar crowd, followed by loneliness then cable sports” and takes place in a small, dreary town somewhere between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. A trio of misfits serve as the main characters: Gentian Violet, a bus driver, newspaper layout designer, and musician; Victor Blue, a newspaper photo specialist with a penchant for drinking; and Earl Gray, a poetic and smooth-talking radio host. Line drawings, photos, cutouts, and miniature models make up the cast and set. Sullivan uses a surrealist style to depict faces and landscapes, adding to this tale of human flaws and resilience.
Stick around post-screening to talk with Sullivan, an alumnus of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and animation and experimental narrative professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 7:30 p.m. $9, $7 for Walker members, students, and seniors. —RO
Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600, walkerart.org