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Music for Film: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Music for Film: Ryuichi Sakamoto

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Film Fest Gent presents 'Music for Film: Ryuichi Sakamoto'.

Japanese Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto was already a celebrated rock-pop composer/pianist/singer in Japan when he conquered the international film scene in 1983 with his score for Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas Mr.Lawrence, a film in which he also starred alongside David Bowie. Ever since, his work for leading Japanese (Oshima again for Gohatto) and international directors (Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, in which he also played a part and for which he won an Academy Award for best Original Score, The Sheltering Sky and Little Buddha; Brian De Palma’s Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale; Pedro Almodovar’s High Heels; Volker Schlöndorff’s The Handmaid’s Tale; Oliver Stone’s produced television miniseries Wild Palms) revealed him as one of the most inventive film composers of our time.

For those films and many more Japanese titles that did not get released in the West, he conceived a unique approach of composing for the movies: a blend of splendid melodies, synthesizer work, traditional orchestral music, drum tracks, sound effects and unusual musical colors. Out of the striking contrasts of musical styles and cultures, he created standout scores that will never stop to fascinate and enchant us.

Ryuichi Sakamoto's legendary music was recorded at Flagey, performed by Brussels Philharmonic and conducted by Dirk Brossé. The recordings include tracks from Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and The Revenant.

This unique compilation album was launched during the 43rd Film Fest Gent and the 16th World Soundtrack Awards in 2016, where Sakamoto received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2022 the album was also released in an SACD-version.


1. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence 'Main Theme' (05’40”)
2. The Last Emperor 'Endroll' (06’31”)
3. The Last Emperor 'Rain' (03’50”)
4. The Sheltering Sky 'Main Theme' (05’43”)
5. High Heels 'Main Theme' (03’06”)
6. Wild Palms 'Main Theme' (02’46”)
7. Little Buddha 'Acceptance' (8’53”)
8. Snake Eyes 'Main Theme (long version)' (04’47”)
9. Femme Fatale 'Bolerish' (04’51”)
10. Babel 'Bibo No Aozora' (05’20”)
11. Hara-Kiri (Ichimei) 'Small Hope' (04’30”)
12. Yae No Sakura 'Opening Theme' (02’46”)
13. The Revenant 'Main Theme' (02’42”)

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