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RYUICHI SAKAMOTO | OPUS Trailer: The Late Legendary Composer is Honored in an Intimate Tribute From His Son

When Ryuichi Sakamoto passed away from cancer in March 2023 at age 71, the world lost one of its greatest musicians. Now, his legacy is captured in a stunning new documentary directed by his son, Neo Sora. The iconic, Oscar-winning composer Sakamoto’s filmography includes the scores for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor, The Revenant, and more. He collaborated with auteurs such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Nagisa Oshima, Pedro Almodóvar, and Alejandro González Iñárritu. His recent and final film score was for Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Monster.

Sakamoto’s final performance in Opus spans his entire career from his popstar Yellow Magic Orchestra days to music from his final album, “12.” The documentary premiered at the 2023 Venice Film Festival before screening at NYFF61. The documentary is co-produced by Sakamoto’s manager and wife Norika Sora, with Jeremy Thomas (producer of Mr. Lawrence and The Last Emperor) serving as executive producer. Janus Films has now released the official trailer ahead of its March release.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A celebration of an artist’s life in the purest sense, Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus is the definitive swan song of one of the world’s greatest musicians. In late 2022, as a parting gift, Ryuichi Sakamoto mustered all of his energy to leave us with one final performance: a concert film featuring just him and his piano. Curated and sequenced by Sakamoto himself, the twenty pieces featured in the film wordlessly narrate his life through his wide-ranging oeuvre. The selection spans his entire career, from his pop-star period with Yellow Magic Orchestra and his magnificent scores for filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci to his meditative final album,12. Intimately filmed in a space he knew well and surrounded by his most trusted collaborators, including director Neo Sora, his son, Sakamoto bares his soul through his exquisitely haunting melodies, knowing this was the last time he would be able to present his art.

Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus opens in select cities March 15. See the trailer and poster below.

Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus Official Poster

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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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