Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, a documentary that offers an in-depth look at the thought and processes behind the award-winning artist’s creative output over the last five years, will hit selected Japanese domestic theaters on Nov. 4.

Premiered to favorable reviews at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, the trailer for the highly anticipated documentary directed by Stephen Nomura Schible has been released, featuring intimate clips of today’s silver-haired Sakamoto interlaced with rare footage of his younger days as a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO).

Sakamoto plays one of his best-known pieces, the theme of the movie Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, on a restored grand piano that suffered damage in the massive tsunami of 2011. “I can’t pretend not to have seen it,” he says of the encounter that changed the direction of his music.

We also see him talking openly about his unexpected diagnosis and struggle with cancer, and about his longing for a certain kind of sound. He stands in his back yard in the rain, wanders through a forest, and even travels to the North Pole to collect various sounds, which are then folded into the music that he creates in his studio.

Previously unreleased archive footage of YMO’s 1979 Los Angeles concert and clips shot by Sakamoto during the making of the The Last Emperor are also included in the trailer, giving viewers a brief but gripping introduction to the profound documentary that chronicles the fascinating creative journey of one of Japan’s most prolific and renowned artists.

Text: Billboard JAPAN / Photo: Courtsey Photo