X Japan’s documentary film, We Are X, will make its debut in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival January 21st through 31st in Park City, Utah.
As glam rock’s most flamboyant survivors, X Japan ignited a musical revolution in Japan during the late ’80s with their melodic metal. Twenty years after their tragic dissolution, X Japan’s leader, Yoshiki, battles with physical and spiritual demons alongside prejudices of the West to bring their music to the world.
The film, directed by Stephen Kijak (Stones In Exile, Scott Walker – 30 Century Man, Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of) and produced by John Battsek’s UK-based Passion Pictures, marks the first time that a Japanese rock band has been the focus of a film to play in competition at the World Cinema documentary category.
X Japan was formed by childhood friends, Yoshiki and Toshi who ignited a musical revolution in Japan during the late 80’s with their melodic metal and flamboyant fashion. Their unique appearance and style created a Japanese cultural rock phenomenon known as “Visual-Kei,” a movement that spread globally. X Japan’s success was unprecedented, including 18 sold out nights at the Tokyo Dome at 55,000 seats each night.
With more than 30 million albums sold worldwide, X is the most successful rock band in Japanese history. However, their success never translated to the West, despite influencing many popular American bands.
In the fall of 1997, at the height of their success, X broke up – devastating millions of fans and leaving enigmatic leader Yoshiki to battle physical and spiritual demons in a solitary campaign to bring their music to the world.
Twenty years after the tragedy-fueled split, Director Stephen Kijak’s exacting approach traces the arc of X — from phenomenal origins through tumultuous super-stardom and premature dissolution up to present day, as the band prepares to reunite for a show at the legendary Madison Square Garden while struggling to reconcile a past haunted by suicide, injury and cult-ish extremism with the insatiable thirst for perfection that has made them legendary.
Watch the band’s press conference during New York Comic Con on October 10, 2014 that our very own Rob Perez filmed.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.