Thursday, July 27, 2023

Tokyo Melody: A Film about Ryuichi Sakamoto.(1985) Japan Cuts

A few minutes int TOKYO MELODY I realized with absolute delight that long ago when I was heavily into Ryuichi Sakamoto I had tracked this film down and fell deeper under the spell of the musician and composers spell.  Yes I had fallen in love with his music via the round about route of his score for MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE, but this was the place where my jaw dropped and I realized what an incredible person he was.

Shot by Elizabeth Lennard during the recording of his album Ongaku Zukan the film actually focuses on Sakamoto creating. He talks about how he does what he does and the things that influence him. A section of the film where he talks about writing for film has him playing the theme from MR LAWRENCE, which had only recently been released when the film was made, by looking at his hand written score. What’s interesting is that having seen Sakamoto play the piece over the years I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look at the score.

Truthfully if you want to understand the man you need to see this film. Though Ideally you would pair it with Stephen Nomura Schible‘s recent film RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: CODA which looks at the man a few years before his passing and acts as a kind of up dating of TOKYO MELODY's threads.

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