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[20170214 ~ My Valentine: “We Are X”]


[20161218©winnieup. WeAreXFilm@Broadway.TheOne.TST.HK]

Before I watched the film, “We Are X”, I did not know how big X Japan was, nor do I know who Yoshiki is.

One day in December 2016, I was about to watch another movie at a cinema in Hong Kong.  A word “SOLD OUT” on one of the TV screens at the ticket counter area caught my attention. I got curious and found out that it was showing the status of the Special Screening of the film “We Are X”.

The poster of the film showed a drummer standing on top of the drum-set, and the description stated that it was a film about the band, X Japan.  X Japan, I remember seeing their vinyl album cover back in the 80s, they were heavy metal rock band from Japan.  That was all I knew about the film and the band. I did not know anything about Yoshiki.

Since I started learning drums recently, I thought watching it could be of something interesting. Out of curiosity, I bought myself the last ticket left of the next show. As such, I bumped into this film by total accident.

An accident that changed my perspective to life, changed my attitude to life, and changed my approach toward life.

People say that they watch this movie because of X Japan, or because of Yoshiki. To the entire opposite, I watch it because I know absolutely nothing at all about X Japan nor have I heard any songs being composed, performed, arranged, played, or produced by its bandleader, Yoshiki.

Yet, after watching the film, I keep watching the film.  After start listening to X Japan and Yoshiki’s music, I cannot stop listening to their music.

Now, I have a strong feeling that I have wasted the past 35 years of my life NOT listening to X Japan and Yoshiki’s songs. I feel that I have lost the precious time of the past years not enjoying the best music possible found on earth. I regretted genuinely not knowing Yoshiki earlier for the admiration of his skills of drum playing; for the discovery of cross-boundary mix of classical and rock music; plus, for the appreciation of his passion and dedication for music and piano playing so I could be practicing piano more persistently when I was a little kid.

The excitement, brings to me from a film, is that I do not know what is going on and what might appear next on the big screen. I like surprise. The fact that I know completely nothing (but their name) about X Japan brought me mind-blowing experience watching this film. I was in shock, during and after, watching this film.

Although the film appears to be presented in piecemeal format and a timeline not too easy to follow, I find it inescapably represents what it is trying to talk about: Life.  Life, as a matter of fact, is always unexpected, out of order, and fragmented; things in life could happen quite suddenly and abruptly, often similar to this manner. The way the director edits the film might have messed up the logical mindset of the audience, yet indeed it fits the mood and rhythm of the film, and sets precisely what the mode should be for this piece of documentary, ambitiously saying that life is not logical.

Life is never predictable. Unexpected incidents happen all the time. Speaking of which, due to this “total accident” bumping into this film, I submersed myself into one of the best, breathe-taking, eye-opening, and undoubtedly enjoyable moments of my life – watching the film, We Are X.

Just like a song has an intro and outro, the movie also starts and ends with gorgeous images along with beautiful music of X Japan and Yoshiki’s. The film brilliantly presents the heart of the history of X Japan with the (relatively new, 2011) song  “Jade” at the beginning of the film.  The intro is so attractive that blocks everything else away from my mind, and drives me deeply into the abyss of the film.

Usually, documentary films discuss or disclose about a story. Yet, We Are X engages a story rather than displaying it to its audience. On one hand, someone like me, who knew nothing about the band, have been educated by the film about the rich history of X Japan; at the same time, I overwhelmingly felt and experienced the successfulness and the painfulness that they had gone through throughout the years with them via the film. After a stream of dramatic yet realistic facts being presented in front of the audience, the film ends with the concert of the reunited X Japan, along with the their stunning new theme song of the film “La Venus”.

By opening with the still images of the original members of X Japan with “Jade” as the background music, and ending with the motion video of the reunited X Japan with “La Venus” plus many other mind-blowing songs of X Japan revealing the bittersweet story of the members in between. “We Are X” is not only an entertaining and documenting film, but also a brilliantly made memorable masterpiece.

No matter how many times I watch the movie, it never seems enough. The film “We are X” is not only about “death and life of X Japan”, as quoted in the flyers, it is also about everything in between: love, friendship, family, fame, depression, self-saving, self-destroying, pioneering, rebellious, innovation, boldness, pride, jealousy, selfishness, success, failure, happiness, tragedy, leadership, conflicts, lost, gain, hope, hopelessness, hatred, give-up, pain, decency, culture, society, norm, ignorance, art, music, broke-up, reunited, memory, dreams, and human being.

Life, as sophisticated as X Japan’s, can be elegant, tasteful, painful, and altogether, beautiful. In addition to its unpredictable and surprising nature, when you look back, you can still feel the abundance of it.  Although painful memories must be part of it, life can still bring you light and strength as long as you can find a way to “co-exist with the pains” (quoted from Yoshiki).

Watching “We Are X” is incomparable with watching any other film I have ever seen. Surrounded by extreme darkness, sitting in front of a huge screen, enjoying a splendid film, listening to the impressive music, glancing over the stunning images, and going through the overwhelming, dramatic, and outraging history of X Japan and Yoshiki, I feel like I am not merely watching a film, but also going through life and death and everything in between together with them, in tears and through my heart, all within 93 minutes of time.

Eventually, as of the issue date of this article, I have watched it in the cinema for six times. If it keeps being shown in the cinema, I will keep watching it again and again. Every time I watch it, it seems like layers of life of X Japan being peeled off, and different levels of fruitful yet unpredictable thunders being poured out for the audience to taste; for the eyes, for the ears, for the mind, and for the heart to grasp and absorb. I can keep watching it, and keep discovering how the director “Introducing X Japan…Japan…Japan…!

Copyright © 2017 winnieup. All Rights Reserved.

[20160222 – 情書2046]

150408 Outfit

在沒有你的日子我結識了許多朋友,你不用為我擔憂,我也不用為你憂愁。 現在我要走,身邊的人也稍作挽留,你卻沒有來書信來電話來電郵;你不用動甚麼腦筋毋須移一根指頭,已輕而易舉把我的心傷透! 朋友有朋友的男朋友女朋友,我有的只是普通或要好朋友、以及朋友朋友的朋友、甚至知音知心知己老友,我只有愛的無盡頭無回應無回收,雖曾經擁有曾經擁有,但永遠沒有天長地久。 你運用我對朋友的友誼代替你與我的愛情鴻溝;利用我朋友的口,告訴我友情比愛情更難求……

我在你的生日前費盡心神費煞思量費周折找幫手,生日當天買禮物切蛋糕攪派對開香檳替你祝壽,生日後令你有回味無窮的時候。 你也說過會在我的生日請客吃魚生喝日本酒;又見我的記事簿又細又殘又舊,說我的生日知道有甚麼禮物可供認購 — 我只管等著有合用心水禮物接收,必定愛不惜手… 到到了我的生日變成生夜、我吃了四個蛋糕吹了數十支蠟燭飲過了半打啤酒,你仍然不知所蹤不致電不留言問候。 我再等了四十個失望的鐘頭,查了電郵,開盡了電子生日卡來自各方親朋好友,硬是沒有來自你打字的一雙手。 聽了電話錄音後,高興於生日的祝福來自知己好友;頃刻後,又覺悟沒有你的聲線在錄音帶裡頭,我一面興奮難休、一面對你詛咒!

捱過了一年半載,我的愛你還是不接受不拒絕不裝載。 我雖然習慣了等待,如習慣了直立不動的盤栽,還是忍不住要割開,與你這似是剪不斷理還亂的愛。 你來不及問我為什麼要離開,我已將行李家具執拾起來; 我來不及讓你有一點點離別的無奈,你已被淹沒在我的思海……別為我擔心感慨,我是實在看得開。 這些年來,我抱著我的理想與你的不羈活下來,與一般平凡女子一樣冀盼等待:一面口邊說著不著緊情愛,一面奢望伴侶的到來。 可惜你還未姍姍遲來,我已跟你分開……

經不起這一場還未發生的戀愛,我的心已遭割斷被撕開。 趁現在,我的知覺還在,一室花味滿載,酒精及香水的味散開,要免去藕斷絲連的感慨。 將思念你的記憶一一拆毀開來,把關於你的故事慢慢溶於思海;不會惦掛我們間的歷史記載,不會回味我們間的趣事精彩;清空電腦中你寄給我的電子郵件袋、洗濯我腦中你寄居著的面孔笑容及可愛。 你有你的學士碩士博士未來,我有我的繽紛燦爛耀眼將來。 抱歉我決定會與你在三十年之內,暫時分開,牽繫不再。

不過你永遠不會明白不會知道這封信的內容,你亦不會內疚感動,我也不必傷感心痛。 因這些文字你看不懂,與你的祖國語言並不互通;我正在學習你的文字文化民風,可以的話請耐心等待我把你的語言融會貫通、 數十年後將此信翻譯後才讓你把我的心看懂!

Copyright © 2016 winnieup. All Rights Reserved.