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.


About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

We no longer accept unpaid PR agency work. We believe the creative arts have value, and this includes writing. As always, we will write about artists who contact us - or who we contact - for free - but we can no longer work free of charge for PR agencies. We work hard, we put in a lot of hours writing, and we ask that you respect that. Contact us for our very reasonable rates.

Follow us on: Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Myspace, Facebook, Spotify, Youtube. Drop us an email on

Leave a Reply