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Directed by Stephen Nomura Schible

Japan 2017 100 min. In Japanese, English with subtitles

Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto is one of the most important voices in electronic music history, beginning his career with Yellow Magic Orchestra in the late-1970s and moving on to production stints for a variety of popular bands, including David Sylvian’s Japan. His solo career has been equally influential across many genres, culminating in 2017’s async, his first solo album in eight years. Stephen Schible’s tender, quiet documentary follows Sakamoto across a five-year period, from the 3/11 Fukushima nuclear disaster through his fight with stage 3 throat cancer, and finally to the creation of async. Sakamoto reminisces on his career—both solo and with his band—but also several important film scores, including award-winning pieces for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor and Nagisa Ôshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. Seeing Sakamoto share his musical principles—along with his clear, infectious obsession with pure sound—is a treat for both seasoned fans and those new to his mysterious musical universe.

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: Reel Music 36