Berlinale: Programme

Berlinale Special



In April 2017 Japanese composer, pianist and music producer Ryūichi Sakamoto made a guest appearance for two evenings in the Veteran’s Room, an intimate, 200-seater hall at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. Stephen Nomura Schible recorded this concert with his camera. His film shows the award-winning film composer, whose unusual soundtracks have left their mark on dramas such as The Last Emperor and The Revenant, inventing his spontaneous ‘asynchronous’ music. We see him in action with various electronic instruments, a grand piano without a lid, a guitar and a glass panel. The resulting chords sound like a cosmic, angelic chorale. In addition, a huge screen mounted on the ceiling of the room above the grand piano translates the melancholic, contemplative sounds that float into the air into black-and-white images, engendering the kind of free-fall associations reminiscent of early avant-garde film. Sakamoto’s New York concert was interpreted by critics as an homage to life itself. After his own battle with cancer, the composer seems to be asking with his dreamlike music what it means to defy death. Sakamoto is a member of the International Jury at the 2018 Berlinale.

Stephen Nomura Schible

USA / Japan 2018

Without dialogue

Documentary form
65 min · Colour


Stephen Nomura Schible
Director of Photography
Tom Richmond, Neo S. Sora
Hisayo Kushida
Ryūichi Sakamoto
Sound Design
Tom Paul
Alec Fellman
Assistant Director
Motomu Ishigaki
Production Manager
Kazuko Shingyoku
Eric Nyari, Stephen Nomura Schible, Yoshiko Hashimoto
Executive Producer
Norika Sora


Stephen Nomura Schible

Born in Tokyo, Japan, he studied film at New York University. After working as an assistant director for the documentary filmmaker Kazuo Hara, he became a producer's representative on Japanese films such as Shinji Aoyama’s Eureka and Naomi Kawase’s Firefly. He also oversaw international co-productions such as H-Story by Nobuhiro Suwa and co-produced Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning drama Lost in Translation. He directed and produced Eric Clapton: Sessions for Robert J. In 2017 he made Ryūichi Sakamoto: Coda which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival.


2017 Ryūichi Sakamoto: Coda 2018 Ryūichi Sakamoto: async AT THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY; documentary

Produced by

New York, USA
+1 212 5864822

Borderland Media
New York, USA
+1 646 3453782

Documentary Japan
Tokio, Japan
+81 3 55703551

World sales

Doc & Film International
Paris, France
+33 1 42775687


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