written by Dustin Chandler
Intimacy is beautiful. Intimacy is deadly.
When the two extremes reach a crossroads,
it becomes a recipe for destruction and pain.
Such is the examination of the brief, but
impactful TOUCH (2015) by producer/
director Andrew Richardson. The two and a
half minute short focuses primarily on a
young couple (Clarice Byrne and Craig J.
Simons) in bed, gracefully caressing each
other post-coitus. At first, everything seems
sensitively passionate, with a lot of attention
drawn to the contours of rustled sheets,
tangled legs, and longing stares into each
other’s eyes. However, as the short
continues, we are shown that intimate
moments such as these are not finite; in
fact, they may be distractions from a much
darker level of anguish.
Admittedly, this was a difficult film to
watch, but thankfully it sits at an
appropriately short time length. The idea is
interwoven so smoothly and reaches the
necessary impact by the explosive final
seconds without overstaying its welcome.
Any second longer and this might have been
too much to swallow, but Richardson and
company show the right amount of
restraint. This also comes sublimely to the
acting of our two leads Byrne and Simons,
which manages to play both sides of the
situation rather convincingly and
devastatingly. On a technical level, additional
praise has to be given to editor Iain Thomson
and sound designer Ania Przygoda for
tiptoeing us into the devastation with subtle
cuts and painful sound cues.
TOUCH’s brief runtime may seem like a
hindrance, but it manages to work to its
advantage given what the film is about:
minute moments of relief that may seem
long and pleasant to us, but are not
definitive in the grand scheme of things and
hide deeper issues underneath.