Touch Me Not (2018)

Touch Me Not (2018)

Laura BensonTómas LemarquisChristian BayerleinGrit Uhlemann
Adina Pintilie


Touch Me Not (2018) is a English,German movie. Adina Pintilie has directed this movie. Laura Benson,Tómas Lemarquis,Christian Bayerlein,Grit Uhlemann are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2018. Touch Me Not (2018) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.

"Tell me how you loved me, so I understand how to love." Together, a filmmaker and her characters venture into a personal research project about intimacy. On the fluid border between reality and fiction, Touch Me Not follows the emotional journeys of Laura, Tómas and Christian, offering a deeply empathetic insight into their lives. Craving for intimacy yet also deeply afraid of it, they work to overcome old patterns, defense mechanisms and taboos, to cut the cord and finally be free. Touch Me Not looks at how we can find intimacy in the most unexpected ways, at how to love another without losing ourselves.


Touch Me Not (2018) Reviews

  • A dishonest exploitation and manipulation.


    Touch Me Not is the feature debut of Romanian director Adina Pintilie which premiered on the 68th Berlinale as part of the Golden Bear competition program, which it shockingly won. The film takes the viewer into the lives of several people with the aim to take them and the viewer on an honest journey of self-discovery that will inevitably lead to overcoming emotional barriers and letting go of self-imposed fears. At the beginning, the director appears as herself and with an expressionless face states the following line into the camera: 'Tell me how you loved me, so I understand how to love', which aims to introduce and establish her film as an answer to its underlying conflict - the lack of intimacy. While the exploration of such an issue is definitely worthwhile, the following question arises: Does the film succeed in its endeavor with honesty, dignity and respect? The answer is no. Not only does the film fail blatantly at exploring its subject matter in depth, but it also resorts to cheap tricks in order to try to get its presumed point across. The end result is a chaotic mess of pseudo-intellectualism and shallowness that is on one hand unbelievably silly and on the other - outright arrogant in its assumption that the lack of talent could pass as art and that no one would be able to make the difference. The first major problem of the film is the lack of a structured story and characters. What we get instead, is people that we are not in any meaningful way introduced to, but still somehow expected to empathize with. The viewer is forced to withstand torturous and dry dialogues between the presumed protagonist Laura with various other characters that appear onscreen just enough to introduce themselves by their names and profession, strip naked in front of the camera and then disappear. Suddenly, all those moments designed to stand as bold statements of personal freedom come out as farce. We get that the characters enjoy being who they are and feel no shame about it, but how does this help the overall point of the film? There are the characters of Tomas (played by Tómas Lemarquis) and Mona (Irmena Chichikova). Tomas is having issues with being close to people and attends a workshop to work this out. Mona is his love interest. That's it. Their characters are so redundant and irrelevant to the "story" that are not even worth mentioning. We are being told that there is a conflict for each of them, yet nothing happens. We just seem to be wandering aimlessly from one blank room to another and then to another one and finally to a sex club, which allegedly serves as the culmination of the film. We do not see any significant change in the characters, not if you count Laura dancing naked in front of the camera at the end of the film as an act of "freedom" confirming that her fears have been overcome. Unfortunately, the scene looks more or less like a parody and does not get anything from the audience except for sarcastic laughter. The only character we get to know more than the others is Christian Bayerlein - a man suffering from severe disability that has rendered his body absolutely dysfunctional, except for a few parts. The film manages to convince the viewer that despite his limitations, Christian is happy and has a good life on his own terms. In any other case, this would be admirable. Unfortunately, this is where the film fails morally and breaks its promise of honesty. If the relation between body and issue was to be explored seriously, Christian should have been the main protagonist. Instead, his personal fate is reduced to being a tool by which Pintilie shamelessly manipulates the viewer in order to guarantee herself some squeezed out empathy. Herein lies the film's greatest shame. Several things could also be said about the supposed "shocking" nature of Touch Me Not. Many media outlets were quick to point-out that many journalists and regular audience members walked-out of the screenings due to the explicit sexual scenes. It is true that more conservative people could find the full-frontal nudity or the epileptic BDSM sex club scene off-puting, but to state that this was the main reason why people left is nothing more than presenting an opinion for a fact. While the film certainly does not shy away from full frontal displays of genitalia and explicit sexual behavior on screen, this could not in any possible way change one simple fact - the film is not capable of holding the viewer's attention. No matter how hard the creators and producers of Touch Me Not try to present it as bold, graphic and experimental, the main reason why it failed with audiences was because it gave them nothing to hold on to. Although both the cinematography and sound design are excellent (the only good things about this film), shots of nipples and body hairs gets quite annoying very quickly. The question that remains is "Why there were so many of them?" Probably, because the director likes them and there is no further meaning or explanation to this. Touch Me Not is a fine example of a product that is grandiose in pretentiousness, plentiful in self-indulgence and offensive in the disrespect that it demonstrates to its viewers. In the end, all of this could have been forgiven if the film was not what it ultimately is - excruciatingly boring. I would advise you to skip it if you value your time.

  • When provocation is an end in itself


    'Touch me not' is the most pretentious and pseudo art intellectual film I've ever seen. Even if you like the work of directors such as Lars von Trier or Gaspar Noe, you will be totally confused and shocked by this one. My personal feeling is that the director's aim was only to provoke instead of really exploring in depth the subject of intimacy. And here comes the reason why I'm leaving two stars instead of one. The general idea of the movie is a good one and is related to a trending problem in the western world. However, the end result leaves us more distant from the core of the issue than before watching the movie. Furthermore, this misachievment is accompanied by long scenes, boring lines, unpleasant characters and exaggerations. 'Touch me not' leaves the viewer with the feeling of emptiness, despair and disgust. And inevitably comes the question: 'How did this film win the Golden Bear prize?' and the apprehension that the critical success of such films is a symptom of a growing alienation and loss of values in our society.

  • Cinematic atrocity


    I am such a fan an supporter of contemporary Romanian cinema but this is below any expectation. I felt almost asleep countess times during this film and wondered why doctors don't prescribe this movie instead of sleeping pills. It's an artsy, indie wanna be movie, full of long abstract framing and too thought out scenery; feels like everything is not genuine and bad acting is ominous; far-fetched emotions and relations between characters; the story lacks any truthfulness and is not intriguing at all I would put in the bucket of contemporary cinema that implies that shocking issues and nudity would automatically make a movie artsy and festival-ready...

  • Disconnected


    First of all, after reading some of the comments posted here I'm surprised in this day and age the nudity and scenes of sexuality in "Touch Me Not" were shocking to so many people; I never felt that these scenes were done in an exploitative manner and they seemed natural to the film's theme. I left the theater, however, wondering why this film was made in the first place and what its point was. It touches on so many issues involving intimacy but never seems to focus on any of them long enough to come to any clear follow-through. The director's style seemed almost stream of consciousness at times and it added to the fragmented and disjointed feel. As an example, I thought the relationship that evolved between Tomas and Christopher seemed to be the most fully realized one in the film; Tomas expresses how this has changed his perspective of himself, but still seems flat and emotionless. At the end of the film Laura appears to finally come to an epiphany of some kind, but there weren't enough details for me to really understand why. Did Pintilie shoot without a script and a vague idea of what she wanted and then attempt to form a film in the editing room? It feels that way. "Touch Me Not" is an intriguing and sometimes fascinating experiment. It's a film is about emotions, but it felt distant and flat to me.

  • A humanistic masterpiece - Inquisitive, sensitive, inclusive, transgressive & innovative


    I saw Adina Pintilie's "Touch Me Not" at the world premiere and I saw nobody leaving the sold out Berlinale Palace. There was also a huge applause by the audience at the end. No one was booing or screaming. It was a nice, pleasant evening with a rather unusual audience: A mix of high-profile cultural figures, some transvestites and transsexuals, some disabled people and many ordinary folks like myself, who were just happy they could get a ticket. There have been a few false reports, where I could read to my surprise, that "masses left the screenings" etc. but in fact this happened ONLY at the very first press screening before the world premiere. Some press people obviously thought they didn't need to watch this, because at the beginning you get to see a little unsimulated sex. I also read, that the part of the press, that decided to stay until the end, applauded the film. So, the few dozens of journalists, who were so 'shocked' by a little tasteful sex and artful nudity, that they had to run away and get therapeutic help, DO NOT REPRESENT the whole audience. They only represent the awful state of film journalism, because - honestly - how do these lazy people want to write now a review of a film they didn't even see ? They should be fired. I liked the movie, because it was formally different, thematically interesting and in-your-face-radical in a rather entertaining way. It's not a boring experimental film about things you don't care about - on the contrary it makes you think about sexuality, bodies, norms, intimacy, trauma and the possibility of therapy. Last but not least, it's a beautifully made film with striking cinematography, inventive editing, immersive sound design and dissonant music by avant-garde band "Einstürzende Neubauten" - it all looks and sounds very distinct and fascinating, a true art object. In some of the few 'shocked' reviews I read - f.e. by the shallow snob Peter Bradshaw or the crazy Susanne Ostwald - you really get the feeling, that these so-called critics don't do their work. They don't try hard enough to understand what an artist like Pintilie was trying to do. Especially the ridiculous accusation of 'exploitation of disabled people' can't be taken seriously. Christian Bayerlein and the few other disabled or unusual people appearing in "Touch Me Not" are only limited by their bodies, but have an articulate mind and interesting things to say. It's possible, that you will see so-called 'handicapped people' in a totally new light after watching this film - and that's a good thing. Critics like the incredibly ignorant Susanne Ostwald scare me, because she appears to feel threatened by a progressive film like this, which tries to include people out-of-the-norm in our popular culture by taking their needs seriously. Why does she feel so disturbed by a fascinating man like Christian Bayerlein, who happens to be disabled, but still loves to enjoy his sex life with his wife Grit? Does it hurt her sense of 'beauty'? Every group has a need to be represented in popular culture, even if Ms. Ostwald doesn't like them in her entertainment. Nobody forced her to see "Touch Me Not": She can rent a copy of the latest Zac Efron rom com or "Bridget Jones" anywhere, if she is in the mood for some 'sexy time' with the 'men of her dreams'. But disabled people don't have their rom coms. Fortunately many of the other critics agree with me, that "Touch Me Not" succeeds at creating more empathy for different and disabled people and they see nothing 'exploitative' about casting them in a film. Christian Bayerlein is now a new hero of mine. I'm not surprised that President Tom Tykwer and the high-profile jury at the Berlinale decided to give their top award to "Touch Me Not", because it's challenging in ways that only few films are today. Tykwer himself showed in his work, that it is possible to go beyond the norms, even if you work in the mainstream: F.e. in his short "True" (2004) and in his feature "The Princess and the Warrior" (2000) the actor Melchior Derouet - who is blind since birth - was cast as a supporting character. And he was a fine actor. Is that 'exploitation', too? This is a film best enjoyed with an open mind and curiosity for other people. It's great that the jury could appreciate such an experimental film, because it might inspire more daring cinema. Adina Pintilie's innovative film shows that cinema can still be a truly humanistic experience.


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