A couple of days ago, Berlin Film Festival came to its end. To everyone’s surprise, the controversial film from Romania about sexuality Touch Me Not won the main price. Fameuz was at the festival and we had a chance to watch the premiere of the winning film.
Before I start talking about the film “Touch Me Not”, I want to mention how mistaken I was to write in my previous blog post that the film “Eva” with Isabelle Huppert would win the Berlinale. It was the first film of the competition that I watched and perhaps while writing my blog post about the possible results, I was a bit biased as, after all, it’s… Isabelle Huppert and everything she does is supposed to be great. I still loved “Eva” but there was nothing new about the film, stories like that have been shown on screen too many times. And the role of the “femme fatale” Eva is also becoming too typical for Huppert.
Unlike Eva, there was one film that was very much new and unusual, “Touch Me Not”, a story (or better to say stories) of people wishing to have sexual intimacy. Different forms of bodies were shown, most of the time naked, hence comes the shock that most of the people felt leaving the central theater of Berlin after the midnight. I was shocked too. “Touch Me Not” was shown on Berlinale Palast right after the premiere of another unusual film with Gael Garcia Bernal “Museum” and perhaps there was just too much for me that night.
There are different stories of completely different people in the movie; there are a lot of controversial scenes: S&M sex, masturbating and so on. It took me awhile after watching the film to actually understand that through these extravagant images and scenes the young Romanian director Adina Pintilie only wants to show the main message of the film --- we all want to be loved, - no matter if we have some fears, disabilities and complexes.
I still believe that there were better films at the festival that deserved the main prize more than Touch Me Not (7 days In Entebbe or Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot for example), but the main reason why the Jury chose Touch Me Not is perhaps that the festivals are the only places where films like that can be appreciated. The film (unlike 7 days In Entebbe or Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot and even Eva) will never make it to mainstream theatres and perhaps any other theatres outside of festivals, as the audience is still not ready to watch films like. This is probably a good thing, as people go to theatres in a search of a form of entertainment, and Touch Me Not is everything but entertaining.