This article was published on January 20th, 2021
The upcoming release from filmmaker Scott J.Ramsey arrives on digital and DVD on February 9th, with Cinedigm announcing the North American debut of X. The Hitchcockian melodrama mixes elements of classic thrillers and camp in a plot that involves the head of a mysterious foundation with a few secrets that refuse to stay buried. X will be made available for purchase or rental across all major digital platforms, including Amazon, Google Play and VUDU. X an also be pre-ordered on iTunes/Apple TV here.
After its world premiere at the Starburst International Film Festival in Manchester, X was screened at more than a dozen festivals worldwide. Over the course of its extensive film festival run, X took home Best Overall Film at the 2019 Indie Gathering in Cleveland, Ohio.
The movie kicks off with guests arriving at an extravagant party thrown by a mysterious foundation, all hiding their identities with masquerade masks. The master of ceremonies for the event, Christian – known only as X – guides the guests through surroundings that are both titillating and seductive. The monthly party is going on without a hitch until an unexpected guest from Christian’s past threatens to reveal the dark secret. In another plot twist, a voyeuristic video exposes a violent crime, and X must weigh the risks of exposing the world of her making.
Viewers are invited to put on their best mask, and enter into a lush, dark world. At the intersection of erotic thriller and queer camp, this is a story about the destructive power of shame. The goal is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
Shot entirely on location in northern California; X was produced by The Foundation, an independent production company of director Ramsey, alongside producers Hannah Katherine Jost and Kevin De Nicolo. X marks Ramsey’s directorial debut, and is co-written with Jost. As a cohesive creative unit, The Foundation pushes the bounds of storytelling to create an immersive experience through multimedia storytelling. The company has produced several works across the mediums of film, albums, and music videos.
Releasing alongside the film will be goth pop duo The Major Arcana of At the Devil’s Ball, an al bum of electro-cabaret tracks that are available to stream and download on music platforms everywhere on February 16th. Click the Spotify album pre-save link here.
The filmmakers get candid in interviews that expounded on the plot and premise of X, stating that the letter ‘X’ is meant to signify what’s forbidden or taboo, the missing value of an equation. As a symbol of anonymity, it represents all of these elements in film, serving as Christian’s blood red kiss that seals the invitations to the monthly masquerade balls. In masquerade setting, people are free from both assumptions and judgment, in effect choosing how they’re seen. In the film, viewers are invited to share in the secrecy of the world that questions perspectives on sex and gender. They will follow Christian as she searches for her humanity.
According to Ramsey, it was his collaboration with Jost that transitioned the story as a Shakespearean tragedy seen through the perspective of a queer woman. The movie’s intersectionality between thriller and camp place each character in a stylized house of cards that is simultaneously lush with a raw edge. At its core, X is about what traverses across the mind of Christian as the ringleader in all of the debauchery and her struggles with intimacy. One of the messages of the film is the power of flaws to ultimately conquer what attempts to destroy us as an act of self-love.
The Album and Videos
Working with his production and creative partner Kevin De Nicolo, Ramsey decided to create music for X that would serve as a transmedia story and become almost like its own character in the film. The creative musings behind the movie led to the birth of the group The Major Arcana, which is debuting their music in the film and also as single, stand-alone videos that capture the themes and symbols presented throughout the movie.
The intention of The Foundation is to create subversive storytelling experiences across multiple media, including films, music, and music videos. X is just the beginning of a trajectory in which they hope to produce art in the spirit of creating worlds that are limitless across media.”
Watch the trailer for X: