Broadcast Film Critics Association announced their nominees for Best Music documentary, which includes Drafthouse Films’ forthcoming ‘WE ARE X.’ The nomination comes ahead of the film’s Friday, October 21 release in Los Angeles, followed by a nationwide expansion. Director Stephen Kijak and film subject, the legendary composer, musician and producer YOSHIKI, will appear for a series of Q&As opening weekend at Landmark’s NuArt Theatre in Los Angeles.
Produced by the Oscar-winning team behind Searching For Sugar Man, ‘WE ARE X’ is a beautifully shot and emotionally transcendent telling of the incredible story of X JAPAN, one of the biggest rock bands in the world.
Under the enigmatic direction of drummer, pianist, composer, and producer YOSHIKI, X JAPAN has sold over 30 million singles and albums combined–captivating such a wide range of admirers as Sir George Martin, KISS, Stan Lee, and even the Japanese Emperor–and pioneered a spectacle-driven style of visual rock, creating a one-of-a-kind cultural phenomenon.
Chronicling the band’s exhilarating, tumultuous and unimaginable history over the past three decades–persevering through personal, physical and spiritual heartache–the film culminates with preparations for their breathtaking reunion concert at New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden. Directed by acclaimed documentarian Stephen Kijak (Stones in Exile, Scott Walker: 30 Century Man), ‘WE ARE X’ is an astonishingly intimate portrait of a deeply haunted–but truly unstoppable–virtuoso and the music that has enthralled legions of the world’s most devoted fans.
‘WE ARE X’ was produced by John Battsek of Passion Pictures, producer of two Academy Award-winning documentaries (Searching For Sugar Man, One Day in September). The film was directed by Stephen Kijak (Stones In Exile, Scott Walker: 30th Century Man).
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About X JAPAN:
X Japan is the most successful rock band in Japanese history, and that is not a statement made lightly. The band has sold more than 30 million albums; singles and videos combined, sold out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times – so far – and have played to tens of thousands of fans outside of Japan. In the band’s early days their look and sound sparked a global interest in entertainment, especially with the Japanese cultural rock phenomenon, “Visual-Kei,” a movement X Japan pioneered that spread globally. X Japan formed in 1982 (calling themselves X) by Yoshiki and Toshi while they were still teenagers. Over the next 13 years, the band released five studio albums–Vanishing Vision (1988), Blue Blood (1989), Jealousy (1991), Art of Life (1993) and Dahlia (1996), as well as six live albums, ten best hits albums and 20 DVD releases. X Japan was the first Japanese band to achieve mainstream success while signed to an independent label. The band was so popular they became a cultural phenomenon.
In the fall of 1997, at the height of their success, the band broke up. Four months later, Hide, X Japan’s original lead guitarist, was found dead in his Tokyo apartment. At his funeral, more than 50,000 fans came to mourn his passing. In early 2007 Yoshiki and Toshi resumed communication and later that year X Japan officially reformed. The band launched its reunion in 2008 with 3 nights at the Tokyo Dome. 2 years later, X Japan filmed a music video on the rooftop of Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre with a throng of some 8,000 U.S. fans taking part in the shoot on Hollywood Blvd. But it was on August 8, 2010 that X Japan performed in front of a mainstream American crowd for the first time at Lollapalooza. Immediately following the festival, X Japan played the biggest concert in its history, selling out two consecutive shows at Japan’s Nissan Stadium, filling 140,000 seats. The band’s first North American tour wrapped with a monumental New York date selling out The Roseland Ballroom on Oct. 11, 2010.
In June 2011, X Japan kicked off a European Tour at London’s Shepherd’s Bush (selling -out the venue in 30 minutes). The tour continued to Paris and Utrecht wrapping in Berlin before the band traveled back to Japan to play the famed Summer Sonic Festival. That same year the world tour took them to South America where they sold out shows playing to massive crowds in Santiago, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima and Mexico City. X Japan then returned to Asia playing arena shows in Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Bangkok. In 2012 X Japan was the first Japanese band to take home the prize for “Best International Band” at the Golden Gods Awards held in the U.S. In 2014 X Japan headlined a colossal show at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden in the U.S. Now, in 2016, X Japan is gearing up for the biggest event in the band’s history. The current line-up of X Japan is Yoshiki/drums, piano; Toshi/vocals; Pata/guitars; Heath/bass; and Sugizo/guitars,violin. X Japan recently announced the release of the band’s 1st new studio album in 20 years, which will be available in worldwide release late 2016.
About DRAFTHOUSE FILMS:
Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the earnestly simple motto of “sharing the films we love with widest audience possible,” Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions, which was named of Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Films Of The Year.” Their diverse and unique slate includes Joshua Oppenheimer’s highly-acclaimed, Oscar® nominated documentaries The Act Of Killing and The Look of Silence, produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, Michel Gondry’s surrealist romance Mood Indigo starring Audrey Tautou, Midnight Movie sensations Miami Connection and The Visitor and rediscovered classics Wake In Fright, Ms. 45 and Roar (in conjunction with Olive Films).
Recent and upcoming releases include Karyn Kusama’s award-winning and critically-acclaimed thriller The Invitation, Anders Thomas Jensen’s bizarre and inspired dark comedy Men & Chicken starring Mads Mikkelsen, and Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, a documentary of the true story of three eleven-year-old boys who filmed a shot-for-shot adaptation of Spielberg’s classic during the 1980s.
Drafthouse Films distributes films theatrically, through home video, VOD and their direct-to-consumer platforms integrating into the ever-growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment lifestyle brand, which along with Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: Mondo, the collectible art boutique; Fantastic Fest, the largest international genre film festival in the US; and the pop culture website Birth.Movies.Death.