World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Best Editing
The music never had to be explained. For childhood friends Yoshiki and Toshi, forming their band X in 1982 was a way of living through music. Soon they were selling out international stadiums by perfecting their own style of amps-to-11 glam rock—dubbed “psychedelic violence crime of visual shock” (imagine Iron Maiden with a David Bowie spirit animal)—and connecting with millions of fans.
Their journey to play Madison Square Garden amidst a Beatlemania-shaped maelstrom is expertly captured by director Stephen Kijak and editors Mako Kamitsuna and John Maringouin, who dismantle the kitsch and dig into the cult of personality to reveal a story of misfortune and tragedy that has shadowed the band time and again. Just as it is for their fans, music becomes a lifeblood for X Japan, as they are forced to reinvent and regroup in order to survive. Cameos by artistic giants including Marilyn Manson and David Lynch mark some memorable moments in this roller-coaster musical experience.
Stephen Kijak’s credits include the BAFTA-nominated feature documentary Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, the cult documentary Cinemania, and the platinum-selling Stones in Exile (for the Rolling Stones and Passion Pictures). He teamed with Passion Pictures again in 2012 on a documentary about the electric bass legend Jaco Pastorius. January 2015 saw the worldwide event-cinema release of Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of. He is a lapsed drummer who resides in Los Angeles.