Stephen Kijak’s documentary We Are X (2016) offers an up-close portrait of the iconic Japanese rock band X Japan. His preceding music documentaries Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (2006), Stones in Exile (2010), Backstreet Boys: Show ’Em What You’re Made Of (2015) and Jaco (2015) follow a filmmaking career that began outside of music, with the narrative feature Never Met Picasso (1996) and the feature documentary Cinemania (2002). Since the start, Kijak’s work has been music-centric and even his upcoming narrative feature Shoplifters Of The World (2017) focuses on a real-life moment that grew up in the wake of the demise of British band The Smiths. It offers an impression of a filmmaker with narrative intentions amid musical influences, forming a career built upon a unification of story and music.
In conversation with Eye For Film, Kijak reflected his filmmaking journey while offering his thoughts on the relationship between narrative and documentary filmmaking. He also discussed the unintentional nature of the filmmaking process and how We Are X benefited from the approach of discovery, as opposed to familiarity.
Read the full interview at Eye For Film.