IVAN’S NEED an Animated Short Films
Ivan has an obsession for kneading the dough.
‘Ivan’s Need’ of the week’s Staff Pick Premiere! on @Vimeo
Lukas Suter: lukassuter.com/
Soundtrack by Tim & Puma Mimi
Produced by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
It is the inspiration for countless paintings, songs, statues, and dances; the powerful vessel from which all of the mankind emerged; and the irresistible form that brings admirers to their knees. “The nakedness of a woman is the work of God,” said poet William Blake, not thinking that perhaps the creator of such a work of art is probably a really talented woman.
At least that is the case in today’s Staff Pick Premiere, “Ivan’s Need.” Breadmaker Ivan has one god — the doughy, soft, malleable combination of bread, eggs, and flour that he mixes every day. That all changes when he is summoned with a Rapunzel-esque flourish to the bedroom of a customer named Alva. The little man’s livelihood is kneading dough into loaves of bread, but Ivan discovers a whole new world — the female form — in this charming love letter to animal sexuality and the curves of a woman’s body.
With subtle references to the lady parts Ivan encounters during his journey (according to the filmmakers, they picked the name Ivan because it shares letters with “vagina” and the object of his desire, Alva, sounds like “vulva”), this charming piece is a silly, albeit honest, portrayal of bodies of all shapes, sizes, and colors. And, more importantly, the pleasure of all sexual partners. According to filmmakers Veronica Montano, Manuela Leuenberger, and Lukas Suter:
“It was important to us to find another way to depict sexuality. [Alva is] not the typical sex symbol, her breasts aren’t bouncy and balloony, they give in when Ivan touches them. Although she is exactly what the male character is interested in (as we know it from many erotic films), she also has confidence and her own sexual desires which she isn’t afraid to indulge. We not only show what it feels like for him to touch her, but also what it feels like for her to be touched.”
Animations frankly addressing female sexuality have been popping up like (welcome) weeds in the short film world in the past couple of years: Lori Malepart-Traversy’s “Le Clitoris,” Renata Gasiorowska’s “Pussy,” and Anna Ginsburg’s “Private Parts,” to name a few. It’s clear that animation has the power to pull people into uncomfortable subjects. In “Ivan’s Need,” that’s apparent in the bright, playful, and fun portrayal of a woman’s forward invitation for sex and her subsequent pleasure. It’s relatable, yet far enough away from the reality that it resembles Saturday morning cartoons. Maybe cute drawings of clitorises and pillowy breasts are just what we need to make these topics easier to talk about in real life.
And expanding our minds is exactly what the filmmakers of “Ivan’s Need” is aiming for. When asked what they’d like viewers to take away from the film they said, “That we should allow ourselves to be dreamy, naive, and childish. That it’s important to keep an innocent curiosity for sexuality. And don’t forget to love.”