Search form

Cheer and Loathing in Animation: Episode XLIV - Sex She Said

Every Friday Chris Robinson unleashes improvised and hastily scribbled cheer or loathing on the animation community to be digested, swallowed or... expelled. Today: Sex through the female gaze.

'Cheer and Loathing in Animation' illustrations by The O. Dore Ush Ev

Actually…when you think about it…there really aren’t a lot of cock films…or really overtly sensual films made by men (oh…George Griffin’s The Club but that’s more about dickheads than dicks) … but feel free to correct me…. In fact, there really aren’t any decent male films dealing with sexuality. The bulk of them are just tired works that paint women as blow up dolls or cut up fantasy figures (e.g. After the End, Pilots on The Way Home). I guess us guys are just not all that comfortable with intimacy or subtle sensuality.

ANYHOW…we’re not here to talk about dicks.

There was a time when Suzan Pitt’s Asparagus was the go to film for female sexuality and desire. It was only about 25-30 years later when Signe Baumane made her blunt funny and honest series, Teat Beat of Sex that we saw a more overt reflection of female sexuality. There weren’t no asparagus stand ins (did you know that I loathe asparagus…I can’t touch the stuff… just the sight of it makes me nauseous and brings to mind South Belgium beatings and school lunches. Oh…I don't mean Suzan’s film… that’s a good un. I mean that green defecation that people deem edible.) Oh, I’ve gone off haven’t I? Well…the last few years there’s been some really wonderfully unharnessed takes on female desire. No flowers and gardens and assorted lazy, gentle cautious metaphors…but blunter and more imaginative stuff like Pussy (2016), Le Clitoris (2016), The Noise of Licking (2016) (okay….it does have a cat and a lot of flowers…  but it’s sensual wonder…as is Marta Pajek’s Impossible Figures and Other Stories II (even if it’s more about identity and fertility than sexuality per se). There’s a fearlessness in these new animation films that’s refreshing. What I really like, for example, about Chintis Lundgren’s latest, Manivald (2017), is that the sexual lives and desires of Manivald, his mother, and Toomas, are just part of the story… they’re not depicted as perverse or extreme… it’s all quite normal and acceptable. No big deal. And that’s the way it should be, must be.

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.