To mark the UK release of ‘Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda‘, a documentary that brings the Japanese composer’s genius to the fore, MUBI are proud to present a season of films unforgettably scored by him, including what is perhaps the most emblematic of his compositions for the big screen, ‘Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence’ (in which he also stars), as well as two films that testify to his artistic collaboration with Italian vanguardist Bernardo Bertolucci.
Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence | 1983, Nagisa Ôshima
Starring music and style icon David Bowie, as well as Ryuichi Sakamoto himself, this tale of forbidden attraction in a Japanese war prisoners’ camp during WWII made such an impact on its viewers partly due to the composer’s enchanting, heart-wrenching BAFTA-winning score.
The Last Emperor | 1987, Bernardo Bertolucci
Ryuichi Sakamoto, who also stars in this film, and David Byrne, won both an Oscar (alongside 8 others for the film) and a Golden Globe for their compositions. Adopting an elliptical narrative, this film traces the life of Pu Yi, the last of the great emperors of China.
The Sheltering Sky | 1990, Bernardo Bertolucci
Sakamoto won the Golden Globe for the Best Original Score for this story of an American couple, played by John Malkovich and Debra Winger, who take on a bohemian travelling journey through North Africa, exploring their 10 year marriage in the hope of restarting their relationship.