×

Ryuichi Sakamoto to be Honored by Locarno Festival

Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who has worked with David Bowie in various guises and scored movies by greats such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Pedro Almodovar, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, will be honored by the Locarno Film Festival.

Sakamoto, an electronic music pioneer whose Yellow Magic Orchestra, formed in 1978, anticipated both techno and rap music debuted in film in 1983. That year he worked on Nagisa Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” for which in addition to writing the score, which won a BAFTA, he played Captain Yonoi alongside the character played by David Bowie named Major Jack “Strafer” Celliers.

Four years later Sakamoto won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for scoring Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” (1987) in which he also appeared on screen.

Three years later, in 1990, Sakamoto won a second Golden Globe for another Bertolucci film “The Sheltering Sky.”  Other highlights of his long distinguished film career comprise collaborations with Almodovar on “High Heels,” with Brian De Palma on “Snake Eyes,” and with Abel Ferrara for “New Rose Hotel.”

Sakamoto’s score in 2015 for Inarritu’s “The Revenant” earned him Golden Globe and Grammy nominations.

He more recently wrote the music for Alice Winocour’s “Proxima” (2019) and Andrew Levitas’ “Minamata,” starring Johnny Depp, which is among gala premiers at the 2020 Berlinale.

Locarno artistic director Lili Hinstin in a statement praised Sakamoto for “successfully combining minimalism with extraordinarily dense emotional impact, bringing sound into existence through silence and, in his film scores, contradicting – and thereby enhancing – the obvious intentions of entire sequences.”

Sakamoto will receive Locarno’s Vision Award dedicated to talents whose intuitions and skills have left their mark on film history on August 6 during a ceremony at its open-air Piazza Grande venue. He will perform a live improvised piano score for Yasujiro Ozu’s 1933 silent drama “Woman of Tokyo” and hold an onstage conversation the following day.

The 73rd edition the prominent Swiss fest dedicated to indie cinema will run August 5-15.

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Film Comment Magazine Goes on Hiatus

    Film Comment Magazine to Go on Hiatus as Film at Lincoln Center Lays Off Half of Staff

    Many companies are being financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Film at Lincoln Center is the latest organization to have to lay off employees and pause some of their operations. On Friday, executive director Lesli Klainberg released a memo announcing that the center had to furlough or lay off about half of its [...]

  • "Birds of Prey" egg sandwich

    'Birds of Prey' Actor Bruno Oliver Recreates Harley Quinn's Famous Sandwich

    When actor Bruno Oliver booked the role of short order cook Sal in “Birds of Prey: (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” he had no idea how significant Sal and his breakfast sandwich were to the story. “You couldn’t tell from the audition necessarily and as actors, we always worry about our scenes [...]

  • Minyan

    'Minyan': Film Review

    Best known for the unexpectedly soul-shattering San Francisco suicide doc “The Bridge,” indie filmmaker Eric Steel came out and came of age in 1980s New York at a moment just before AIDS devastated the city’s gay community. Such timing must have been surreal, to assume something so liberating about one’s own identity, only to watch [...]

  • Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches

    Film New Roundup: Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches North American Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Queen’s Corgi” finds a home, the Overlook Film Festival is postponed and the California Film Commission adjusts its tax credit rules due to the coronavirus. ACQUISITION Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the animated family comedy feature “The Queen’s Corgi,” and plans to make it available on DVD and to [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Sets Salary Cuts and Furloughs in Wake of Covid-19 Pandemic

    Following in the steps of several agencies dealing with the coronavirus, APA has informed all offices of upcoming salary cuts along with possible suspensions and furloughs for employees due to the pandemic’s economic effect on the industry. APA board of directors will make the largest financial sacrifice. The move has been made to avoid layoffs [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA Scramble to Keep Residuals Flowing During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Hollywood’s creative guilds have been working overtime to keep residual checks going out to members during the coronavirus crisis. Even though most of the staff members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America West have been working remotely, the guilds have stepped up efforts to maintain the flow of [...]

  • Hannah Marks, Dylan Sprouse. Hannah Marks,

    How a Bart Simpson T-Shirt Delayed Dylan Sprouse’s Movie ‘Banana Split’

    Long before the release of “Booksmart,” actress Hannah Marks set out to make a movie that would be the female bookend to “Superbad.” She started writing the script eight years ago, at 18, based on a real-life story about how, in high school, she befriended the girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend. Many drafts followed for “Banana [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content