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This feature debut from Romanian film-maker Adina Pintilie is an essay about sexuality and body image; it has its admirers and it was the winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin film festival, something that at the time plunged me into a depression. I was not one of the admirers.
Maybe I should have noted that the film is offered in complete good faith, the production values are strong and it looks different from almost anything else around. But revisiting this film for its UK release hasn’t fundamentally changed my mind; I continue to be dismayed by what I think is its gruellingly exploitative Euro-hardcore and its shallow, self-satisfied and wrong-headed conflation of honesty with sexual exhibitionism. It is about the personal and emotional journeys undertaken by quasi-fictional personae, evidently developed through improvisation.
Laura Benson is Laura, who appears in dialogue scenes with the director, discussing her issues with voyeurism. Christian Bayerlein is a man with spinal muscular dystrophy who wants to challenge body-image preconceptions. Tómas Lemarquis is looking at comparable ideas. It is all heading towards the sex club. This – the film smoothly implies – is an arena of honesty and authenticity, when of course in the sex club there is quite as much imposture, and quite as much of the sexual politics of evasion and concealment, as there is anywhere else. People will want to make their own minds up about the film, but for me there is something worryingly crass and naive in it.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Touch Me Not review – body image quest ends in Euro-hardcore | Film