'Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda'
Whether you know Ryuichi Sakamoto through his pioneering synthpop band Yellow Magic Orchestra, his role in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence beside David Bowie, his award-winning film scores (that Last Emperor soundtrack will still give you goosebumps) or his collaborations with folks ranging from Thomas Dolby to Youssou N'Dour, the fact that the man is a living freakin' legend is undeniable. Stephen Nomura Schible's movie also takes this as a given; it's less interested in making a case for his greatness than following Sakamoto around as he protests the Fukishima nuclear disaster, deals with Stage-Three throat cancer and mines artistic inspiration out tragedy and illness. Five years in the making, Coda starts as a snapshot and ends as a meditation on mortality, why we make music, civic responsibility, following your creative urges and the search for that elusive transcendental chord. We can't recommend it enough. DF