EX, the new film from Greek director George Markakis (India Blues), is an interesting and observational case study of the ex-pats and Berliners of Berlin’s queer club scene, set in its most iconic club, the Kit Kat Club. Well, in the club’s bathroom. More to come on that detail in a hot second!
The narrative style in the film is reminiscent of indie cinema in the nineties but far more explicit and potentially controversial. The film follows Diana, a club queen reminiscent of Deee-Lite’s Lady Miss Kier but with the S+M twist. A rousing opening sees her prepping the drug supply for the night. We spend the next hour eavesdropping on her conversations inside the bathroom stall at Kit Kat while also cutting over to some peripheral connections and shenanigans happening just on the other side.
The film is very much about connecting in a disconnected world. This was aptly represented by a visual motif that struck me. In the stall, many drugs are consumed, and smartphones are ever-present, but the phones are used only for doing lines like a millennial mirror while the characters are actually connecting eye to eye and soul to soul.
The director also does a masterful job of interweaving these connections. All the subjects, from cookbooks to club kids to love, longing, acceptance and support, complement each other in an interestingly contradictory way. The film’s message of empowerment and tolerance is clear, powerful and inspiring. And it’s a comedy!
EX concludes with a high-energy convergence on the dance floor and a final shot that sums up the feelings of the movie quite appropriately. I would go so far as to call “EX” a Slacker for the LBGTQ+ generation but with far more energetic vibrations than you would ever find in a small town in Texas!
Watch out for a scintillating interview with EX’s director George Markakis, forthcoming on Honeysuckle.