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Film Review: “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” (2017) ★★★


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Music and painting are the only forms of art that  through our ears and eyes make us feel love and compassion expressed in the certain piece of artwork. There is a reason why I decided to keep the cinema aside. For one reason, it cultivates the form of horror and terror as a norm. Ryuichi Kamamoto is a Japanese musician, singer, composer, record producer, activist, writer, actor, and dancer. Perhaps it’s his versatile talent that allows him to hear music that for us could be simple noise. For his ears that noise is music.

Perhaps it is his way of seeing and hearing the world that makes him turn to find those notes of music to express himself. Whatever it is, we accept it, since we need more people like him – people who are willing to create masterpieces by unbelievable fast movements of their fingers. “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” is a documentary film by Stephen Nomura Schible. The opening scene shapes the entire film. We see a piano carried away and then brought back by the tsunami. That piano plays an important role inspiring the famous composer to feel the tune in a way that the piano will never be able to.

As the film unfolds, the composer talks about his work with Bertolucci, Inarritu, his passion for Tarkovski, and the sounds of nature. It is quite amazing when you learn how the musician produces music for films or how he might end up rewriting the intro. After all, if Morricone can, who said Sakamoto cannot?

In conclusion, “Coda” is a very inspiring film about one individual who chooses the music as his companion throughout his whole life. His close friendship and instant understanding of nature and the sound enable us to enter his intimate world, where we realize that the true charm and intelligence lies inside a person’s mind. There is no code that needs to be broken but allowing our minds to be open. Thankfully, “Coda” delivers that, allowing the composer to lead the film completely while the camera genuinely, peacefully and respectfully captures everything possible.

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