“WE ARE X” | Hawai‘i Premiere | Japan, United States | English, Japanese w/English subtitles | 93 min.
Edited by Mako Kamitsuna and John Maringouin. Directed by Stephen Kijak.
From the production team behind the Oscar-winning “Searching for Sugar Man” comes “We Are X,” a transcendent rock ’n’ roll story about X Japan, the world’s biggest and most successful band you’ve never heard of . . . yet.
Under the enigmatic direction of drummer, pianist, composer and producer Yoshiki, X Japan has sold over 30 million singles and albums combined, captivating a wide range of admirers, including Sir George Martin, KISS, Stan Lee and even Japan’s emperor, and pioneered a spectacle-driven style of visual rock, creating a one-of-a-kind cultural phenomenon.
The film chronicles the band’s exhilarating, tumultuous and unimaginable history over the past three decades — persevering through personal, physical and spiritual heartache — and culminates with preparations for their breathtaking reunion concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 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 virtuoso and the music that has enthralled legions of the world’s most devoted fans.
Screenings: Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m. | Nov. 9, 5:30 p.m.
“THE BLUE HEARTS” | U.S. Premiere | Japan | Japanese w/English subtitles | 161 min.
Written by Noboru Iguchi, Ken Iizuka, Kenta Ishikawa, Kensaku Kojima, Masatoshi Nagase, Takashi Shimizu, Ten Shimoyama and Shigeki Suzuki.
Directed by Noboru Iguchi, Ken Iizuka, Shinichi Kudo, Lee Sang-il, Takashi Shimizu and Ten Shimoyama.
The Pixies, The Cure, Sonic Youth and Nirvana were epic ’80s and ’90s rock bands that informed a generation and changed rock forever. To this list add The Blue Hearts, the seminal Japanese punk band that shaped a whole generation of Japanese youth. A love letter to the band, “The Blue Hearts” is a hilarious, touching, weird and wonderful omnibus of six short films, each based on a different Blue Hearts song.
Screenings: Nov. 8, 3 p.m. | Nov. 13, 5:45 p.m.