There’s last will and testaments, and then there’s Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus, for which the musician and composer (for whom adjectives are sometimes adequate) enlisted his son, Neo Sora, to put on film one final performance: a 20-song symposium that would “wordlessly narrate his life through his music.” Ahead of its March 15 release from Janus Films, we have the first trailer.

As Jordan Raup said in our rundown of the best 2024 films we’ve already seen, “In a heartbreaking work that feels like a private personal home movie that the world is being graced with, Ryuichi Sakamoto’s son, filmmaker Neo Sora, captured one of his father’s final performances. Shot in beautifully austere black-and-white, Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus focuses solely on the music, capturing a man contending with his physical limitations in what amounts to one of the final offerings of his astounding talent. It’s a treasure.”

Find preview and poster below:

On March 28th 2023, legendary composer Ryuichi Sakamoto passed away after his struggle against cancer. In the years leading up to his death, Sakamoto could no longer perform live. Single concerts, not to mention sprawling global tours, were too taxing. Despite this, in late 2022, Sakamoto mustered all of his energy to leave the world with one final performance: a concert film, featuring just him and his piano. 

Curated by Sakamoto himself and presented in his chosen order, the twenty pieces performed in the film wordlessly narrate his life through his music. The selection spans his entire career, from his popstar Yellow Magic Orchestra period, to his magnificent Bertolucci film scores, to music from his meditative final album, 12

Intimately filmed in a space he knew well, surrounded by his most trusted collaborators, Sakamoto bares his soul through his music, knowing this may be the last time that he can present his art. 

A celebration of an artist’s life in the purest sense, Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus is the definitive swan song of the beloved maestro.

No more articles