The composer made his Hollywood debut in 1983 with his music for the movie happy birthday mr. lawrence, Starring David Bowie. Sakamoto also had a role in the movie, as the commandant of a prisoner of war camp. Sakamoto won a BAFTA award for his motion picture music.
Sakamoto achieved his biggest success with his music for the film The last emperor In 1987. For this he received an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe. “When I compose music for a movie, I am fulfilling someone else’s vision,” Sakamoto said in the documentary. Ryuichi Sakamoto: Koda (2017). “Then I feel restricted musically. But those limitations can be very inspiring. I often discover all kinds of possibilities that I never knew existed.”
Sakamoto eventually made music for dozens of films and documentaries, incl protective sky (1990), Pedro Almodóvares High heels (1991), Oliver Stone miniseries wild palm trees (1993) and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Revenants (2015).
In 2014, Sakamoto was diagnosed with throat cancer. He seemed to be cured, until the disease returned in a different form in 2020. In 2021 his opera saw time It still has its world premiere at the Holland Festival, with Sakamoto being one of the participating artists for that edition. At that time, the composer was too ill to travel to Amsterdam.
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