We Are X
M/A/D | Documentaries
This is Spinal Tap was fake—these guys are the real deal. Watch this rock doc and take a trip into the outer regions of rock ’n’ roll extremes as you meet X, the Japanese band that’s captivated audiences worldwide with their operatic musical stylings, outlandish costumes and concert theatrics. The backstage story is occasionally a little dark—including suicides and a brainwashing cult—but this is a riveting, even inspiring movie.
Director Stephen Kijak, a specialist in music docs (including Scott Walker: 30 Century Man), follows the band in the lead-up to a spectacular show at Madison Square Garden. The story stretches back to 1982 and the band’s forming, with enigmatic band member Yoshiki serving as our main guide. He’s a striking presence: beautiful, delicate and very serious, he wears a neck brace to compensate for 30 years of headbanging. The band’s style is part glam, part metal, part Andrew Lloyd Weber—some of the most creative and elaborate kitsch you’re likely to see in pop music. These guys give acts like KISS, Motley Crüe and David Bowie a run for their money and there’s much here to please any rock fan or lover of spectacle.
“Kijak’s entertaining and potent portrait is bound to become a favourite among fans and to persuade others to join the ranks of those under the loud spell of X…”—Carlos Aguilar, IndieWire
Best Editing Award, Sundance 16