He was a musician, he says, Ryūichi Sakamoto, in the portrait film “Coda” about him. He talks about Andrey Tarkovsky and in the film a clip from “Solaris” is shown, a close-up on drops of water bringing nature’s sounds to the screen. It’s a wonderful film that again makes me think that music is the most interesting art form, where film is so much more concrete, concluding and interpreting. With music you can create your own images – and yet Sakamoto, the master of film music (Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” (1983), “The Last Emperor” (1987) and “The Sheltering Sky” (1990), “The Revenant” (2015) by Alejandro G. Iñárritu…) states that he tries to think “cinematically”, when he in his studio in New York and on his journeys to the North Pole and Africa collects sounds to be used in his composing. The film by Stephen Nomura Schible gets very close to the composer, who reveals that he is fighting against a cancer illness; it is in itself a piece of film history with clips from the films mentioned above plus archive material that shows Sakamoto in his psychedelic period and as an activist against nuclear plants to be rebuilt after the Fukushima catastrophe. To be linked to his “Opera” from 1999, where he summarizes the state of our civilization with continuing quotes from the man who “invented” the atom bomb, Oppenheimer.

After having seen all films in the documentary competition, I “took the day off” to let me be

seduced by music documentaries. Apart from the Sakamoto film I was entertained and charmed by “Concerto for Two” by Polish Tomasz Drozdowicz with composer and conductor Jerzy Maksymiuk, and his wife Ewa.

The film is a tribute to a man, born in 1936, who is full of energy, loves life, who is always active, who is generous in his teaching young, upcoming conductors – and pretty much depending on his wife, who takes care of him, to say the least. She is always there close to him, she is a guarantee for him looking ok with his wild white hair. As well as smelling good – she “deodorants” him!

But for me the main quality with “Concerto for Two” is the inspiration Maksymiuk passes on in the film. He makes me want to listen more to music than I normally do. Always with the baton in hand, even when he is chilling out on a hotel bed somewhere on one of his many, he talks about music, composes, praises Piazzola, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Chopin.

When writing this text on the two films I managed to watch yesterday, two films that are in the festival’s DocFilmMusic competitive section, I have been humming Sakamoto’s music from the David Bowie film “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” and the ballet music for “Romeo and Juliet” by Prokofiev, that plays a strong part in the film with Maksymiuk.

Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing… 

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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