Directed by: Danny de Vent | 9 minutes | animation, short film
Mieters, what someone comes up with with a simple and at first sight banal idea. Swimming lessons are a textbook example of creativity and cleverness. Filming the atmosphere in a swimming pool seems just as attractive as watching a Bruges wench making lace. What the hell would be so exciting to shoot an animated film about this?
For most adults, a swimming pool has few secrets anymore. It contains water and you can float in it, done. For a four-year-old taking his first splash, a new world unfolds. One where danger lurks on every tile. Toddler Jonas gets his first swimming lesson and is terrified. Most of all, he would like to get under Mother’s skirt. He fears the bluish monster will swallow him with skin and hair. His first meeting therefore resembles a real safari.
It already starts on the way to the two swinging doors that greet him with a growl. Behind it, a frightening scream suddenly sounds and the adventure for Jonas begins. With a little push he ends up in the chlorine in which all kinds of strange creatures swim. At least, seen through the eyes of a small owner.
Director Danny De Vent eagerly exploits the fears associated with a very first swimming experience. A man who comes in backstroke looks like a shark. Someone who jumps off the seesaw a big bird. It is wonderful how that shivering is exploited for the benefit of precious visual stampede. ‘Swimming Lessons’ does not look as streamlined as Pixar’s fantasies but that is completely in the spirit of the story. This animation film is funny, endearing and yes, even exciting. And this without any form of dialogue. Apparently they were also impressed at the short film festival in Leuven and the Ghent film festival. In 2008 this party was honored for young and old at both festivals. And yes, everything will be fine with Jonas.