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Ryuichi Sakamoto's farewell to his fans on silver screen

Updated: 2024-05-31 17:39 ( chinadaily.com.cn )
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Ryuichi Sakamoto Opus, a tribute to the late Japanese musical legend, has been released in theaters across the Chinese mainland since May 31. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The cinematic tribute to the late Japanese musical icon, Ryuichi Sakamoto, titled Opus, has premiered in theaters across the Chinese mainland starting May 31. Filmed in striking black and white to mirror the piano keys, the movie captures Sakamoto's poignant final concert, featuring a meticulously curated selection of 20 songs performed solo in a studio, immortalizing his last musical moments on the silver screen.

In promotional materials for the film, Sakamoto expressed his sentiments to fans, saying: "This concert serves as a documentation of my performance, preserving it for the future while I am still able to play the piano."

Renowned as the first Asian composer to clinch an Academy Award for his work on the 1987 film The Last Emperor, Sakamoto's journey was marked by resilience and dedication even after being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014. Despite his health challenges, he continued to pursue his passion for music, completing the music score for The Revenant in the same year.

Throughout his battle with illness, Sakamoto composed the original soundtrack for Living with My Mother, released his solo album Async, and crafted the theatrical piece Time. However, in 2021, he disclosed his diagnosis of rectal cancer, which later spread to his liver and lymph nodes, leading to his passing at the age of 71 on March 28, 2023.

Having garnered a significant following among Chinese fans, Opus has resonated deeply with audiences, achieving an impressive rating of 9.5 out of 10 on the popular review platform Douban. The film not only pays homage to Sakamoto's unparalleled musical legacy but also serves as a poignant celebration of his enduring impact on the world of music.

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