We Are X (2016)
March 17, 2021 9:04 PM - Subscribe

A documentary about the Japanese rock band X JAPAN. Content warning: there's a lot of talk about suicide in this film.
posted by The corpse in the library (3 comments total)
I wanted to love this. It starts out so well -- the band is so flashy, the music is interesting, the drumming is amazing, where is the story going? But it never dives in.

Few of the basics of a good rockumentary are hit. Who are the band's influences? What's their songwriting process like? How hard did they have to work in their early years? What are they like in the studio? How well do they get along? How do they balance family life and their musical careers? Who have they influenced? What trajectory is the band on now?

And specific to this film: Do any of them have personal lives at all? Why is the timeline jumping around so much that I can only tell when we are by their hairstyles? Which cult? What do they look like without sunglasses? I ended up going to Wikipedia and learning more in 30 seconds of skimming than I did in the entire movie.

Maybe if you already know the band, this will be a satisfying look back. But for a newcomer like me, it leaves me wanting to watch a better-made documentary about this intriguing band.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:12 PM on March 17, 2021

And: why did Taiji leave the band? In a better documentary, after Yoshiki refused to elaborate we would have gone to someone who’d say what had happened.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:39 AM on March 18, 2021

This was less of a documentary and seems more of a marketing tool.
I would not be surprised to find that Yoshiki primarily, and the other members less so, was directly involved in the framing, questioning, areas of investigation, etc.
Agree with the above that the filmmakers should have pushed back, and dug a bit deeper with the band, who are absolutely fascinating, but when the band is driving the bus, it's hard to change drivers.
Yoshiki is a fascinating character, and I'd love to see a film focusing on him, but you can tell that he maintains absolute control over his image and message.
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 7:44 AM on March 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

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