X Japan at Visual Japan Summit, WE ARE X Film, Yoshikimono
OCTOBER 21, 2016
Over 100,000 Music Fans Gather For First-Annual Event MARKING THE LARGEST ROCK FESTIVAL FOR 2016 IN JAPAN
DRAFTHOUSE FILMS ‘WE ARE X’
Documentary on the rock group X JAPAN, opens in New York (ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA-Brooklyn) on November 4 and in Los Angeles (NUART THEATRE) starting October 21, National Expansion to Follow
Launches Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, with Spring-Summer YOSHIKIMONO COLLECTION 2017
YOSHIKI CLASSICAL Featuring Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra:
Thursday, January 12 and Friday, January 13 at Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage in New York
X JAPAN headline VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016
(Los Angeles, CA: Friday, October 21) More than 105,000 music fans joined the iconic rock group X JAPAN this past weekend (Friday, October 14, Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16) as they headlined all three nights of the first-ever < href="http://visual-japan.com/en/" target="_blank">VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT festival at Makuhari-Messe outside Tokyo, Japan. Now, the largest three-day festival in Japan for 2016, VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT celebrates a Japanese music movement called “Visual Kei”--a fusion of Western rock and punk with Eastern culture, Kabuki theatrics and anime. Pioneered by the recently reunited X JAPAN and heavily influenced by David Bowie, the Sex Pistols and KISS, “Visual Kei” translates to “psychedelic crime of visual shock” and its purpose as an artistic movement is pushing forward the “freedom to express anything” in a reserved society. Gene Simmons of KISS made a surprise appearance to perform “Rock ‘n’ Roll All Nite” at the festival which marks the first-time ever these stadium bands including Glay, Luna Sea and over 50 acts gathered in one place in what will become an annual event.
The festival shows marked X JAPAN's--YOSHIKI (drums/piano/composer), TOSHI (vocals), PATA (guitar), HEATH (bass), SUGIZO (violin/guitar)--only shows this year as they prepare to release their first album in almost two decades in 2017. X JAPAN will also perform at a concert event at SSE Wembley Arena in London on March 4, 2017. Before the release, YOSHIKI--songwriter, drummer/percussionist, classically-trained pianist and the creative force of the rock group X JAPAN will bring his classical show, “YOSHIKI CLASSICAL Special Featuring Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra” to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in New York a on Thursday, January 12 and Friday, January 13. For the Carnegie Hall concert, YOSHIKI will perform his original compositions alongside the world-renowned Tokyo Philharmonic; he will also play several traditional Classical pieces. For tickets, visit (here) and the Carnegie Hall website (here).
In fashion news, YOSHIKI kicked off Tokyo Fashion Week (Monday, October 17)--sponsored by Amazon--with the Spring/Summer 2017 launch of YOSHIKIMONO. The rock star and fashion designer—whose parents ran a Kimono shop--performed classical piano alongside a violinist and then a powerful, rock drum solo performance with a rainstorm in the middle of the runway as models showcased his futuristic kimono creations. YOSHIKIMONO both honors the traditional Kimono style while offering a modern and wearable take on the design. Photos (here), credit: Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo 2017/Spring-Summer YOSHIKIMONO COLLECTION 2017.
In film news, the X JAPAN documentary ‘WE ARE X’ will open in Los Angeles, today, Friday, October 21 with a series of Q&As opening weekend at Landmark's NuArt Theatreand in New York on Friday, November 4 at the brand new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn (445 Albee Square West), followed by a nationwide expansion. Director Stephen Kijak and film subject, the legendary composer, musician and producer YOSHIKI of X JAPAN, will appear for the Q&As in New York and Los Angeles (see dates below).
From the production team behind the Oscar-winning 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.
Here are some early critical soundbites for the film ‘WE ARE X:’
LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10-20-16: “Invoking the spirit of an epic rock show, “We Are X” expresses all the energy, joy and sadness of X Japan's music. There's no shortage of chest-rattling bass and ceiling-grazing pyrotechnics in Stephen Kijak's documentary, but it also intimately reveals decades of trouble in the Japanese metal group's history. Though this documentary is sure to appeal to the band's followers, it's also a compelling story for those experiencing X Japan's impressive blend of speed metal and glam rock for the first time. Director Kijak deserves credit for constructing an engaging narrative that will have the uninitiated crossing their arms in an X in solidarity by the end.”
LA WEEKLY, 10-19-16: “Formed in 1982, X Japan took the visual aspects of '80s metal to the next level, creating a music and cultural movement in Japan called “visual kei.” They have sold upwards of 30 million albums and singles. All of this is covered in We Are X. More than a rock documentary, the film is about friendship, grief, the humans behind the make-up and masks, and the people they indelibly touch.”
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Rated: R (For Language)
Film Website: http://www.wearexfilm.com/
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 in 2017.
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.