For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
Sorry, this special is not available in your country
See what’s playing

Scored By Sakamoto

MUBI Special

To mark the UK release of Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, a documentary that brings the Japanese composer’s genius to the fore, we are proud to present a season of films unforgettably scored by him, including what is perhaps the most emblematic of his compositions for the big screen, Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (in which he also stars), as well as two films that testify to his artistic collaboration with Italian vanguardist Bernardo Bertolucci.

The Sheltering Sky

Bernardo Bertolucci United Kingdom, 1990

Bertolucci followed the incontestable success of The Last Emperor (nine Oscars!) with this gorgeously rendered exploration of a marriage. Marking his second successful collaboration with Sakamoto, the film’s soundtrack is a lustrous, eclectic, and poignant evocation of the Sahara Desert’s grandeur.

The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci China, 1987

The first Western film shot in The Forbidden City, this is ornate, melancholy spectacle from Bertolucci. A biography of Emperor Pu Yi, but, in the most fascinating of ways, a contemporary, contemplative historical drama, whose soundtrack earned Sakamoto an Academy Award for Best Original Music.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

Nagisa Ôshima United Kingdom, 1983

With Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, in theatres, we dedicate a series to the cinematic soundtracks of the Japanese master composer, starting with a film in which he also stars—alongside Bowie! Merry Christmas is fuelled by charged, unforgettable performances and punctuated by a triumph of melodic genius.

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.