A documentary about noted Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who won an Oscar and Golden Globe for his music for “The Last Emperor” in 1987, will screen out of competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
“Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” covers five years of the composer’s life combined with archival material illuminating his musical and cinematic history. Sakamoto was a judge at the 2013 Venice festival.
Sakamoto, 65, started his career in 1978 with the song “Thousand Knives.” He founded techno pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, creating a new wave mix of pop, rock, and electro synthesizer sounds. In 1980, the song called “Computer Game” made the Billboard top 60, bringing him global recognition.
Sakamoto also scored and appeared in the film “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” in 1983 and acted in “The Last Emperor.” He has been busy ever since working as a composer for films such as “The Revenant” and as a performer and producer.
His musical style changed in the late 1990s after he turned his attention to social and environmental issues. After fighting throat cancer, he returned with a new album “async” in 2017.
The documentary’s director, Stephen Nomura Schible, who co-produced of “Lost in Translation,” became interested in Sakamoto after his style changed as a result of the 2011 Japanese earthquake. “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” will be released on November 4, 2017.