We Are X
USA | 2016 | 89 minutes | Stephen Kijak
Hugely influential in Japan, but relatively unknown in the U.S., flamboyant hard rock band X Japan ignited a musical revolution in the late '80s, known as Visual-Kei, before ending in a tragedy-fueled split. Now enigmatic leader Yoshiki is staging a comeback.
June 5, 2016
Ark Lodge Cinemas
|8:30 PM||Date has passed
Producers Jonathan McHugh and Jonathan Platt scheduled to attend
June 8, 2016
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
|9:30 PM||Date has passed|
X Japan is the most successful rock band in Japanese history, selling more than 30 million albums and selling out Japan's Tokyo Dome a record 18 times—once more than Michael Jackson. Founded in 1982 by childhood friends Yoshiki and Toshi, their symphonic power-metal and innovative Visual-Kei style ignited a music and fashion revolution. Controversially disbanding in 1997 amid a series of tragedies, they reunited in 2008 for some unfinished business—bringing their music to the United States. Following the enigmatic Yoshiki as he obsessively prepares for their Madison Square Garden concert, veteran director Stephen Kijak (Stones in Exile) slowly morphs what initially appears to be a slick promotional documentary into a fascinating examination of fame, reinvention, and survival. Employing an astonishing blend of concert and archival footage, he charts the band's unprecedented rise to superstardom in their 20s and the toll that their celebrity and perfectionism took on them in the turbulent years that followed—not to mention the damage that 30 years of relentless, punishing drumming has taken on Yoshiki's body. Simultaneously a celebration of the pursuit of artistic excellence and a cautionary tale of its costs, We Are X reveals the saga of a band of survivors struggling to keep their physical and spiritual demons at bay for one last attempt to bring their music to the world.
Born in New Bedford, Mass., in 1969, Stephen Kijak has been making films for over 20 years, collaborating with and documenting many musical greats such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, the Rolling Stones, Backstreet Boys, and Jaco Pastorius. He is a lapsed drummer who lives in Los Angeles.
Sponsored by EMP Museum, KEXP 90.3 FM, Silver Platters
|Principal Cast:||Yoshiki, Toshi, Pata, Hiroshi|
|Country:||USA, Japan, United Kingdom|
|Running Time:||89 minutes|
|Producer:||John Battsek, Diane Becker, Jonathan McHugh, Jonathan Platt|
|Cinematographers:||Sean Kirby, John Maringouin|
|Editors:||Mako Kamitsuna, John Maringouin|
|Website:||Official Film website|
|Awards:||Sundance 2016 (World Cinema Editing Award, Documentary), SXSW 2016 (Excellence in Title Design Audience Award)|
|Filmography:||Show ‘Em What You’re Made of (2015); Jaco (2015); Stones in Exile (2010); Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (2007);Cinemania (2002)|
|International Sales:||Mongrel Media International|