Nagisa Oshima / JP, FR, 1999 / 100 min.
When the young samurai Kano is admitted to an elite group, his good looks immediately set his fellow warriors on fire. Ryuichi Sakamoto, who debuted as film composer and actor in Oshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), also wrote the music for director Nagisa Oshima’s swan song.
There are a few interesting similarities to be noted between Gohatto and Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983), Nagisa Oshima’s better known film for which Sakamoto also provided the score. Both films deal with the attraction between males in unlikely environments. In Merry Christmas it is a POW camp, in Gohatto a hierarchical group of elite samurai, where the arrival of a stunning young samurai warrior creates tension and causes passions to run deep.
The perceptible development of Sakamoto’s film music is also interesting because of the similarities between these two films. Gohatto’s score is significantly more abstract, with Sakamoto occasionally introducing more soundscapes and also punctuating the score with the glitchy electronics that characterize some of his later solo albums.
Holland Festival 2021
This year, Eye puts the spotlight on Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the associate artists of the Holland Festival 2021. Sakamoto's latest work Time will premiere during the festival, an unconventional wordless opera he made together with visual artist Shiro Takatani. Eye will organise seven accompanying programmes in June focusing on Sakamoto's illustrious career.