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 Home is where I want to be
Home is where I want to be
1985 - OST The Last Emperor PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 August 2008 13:54
last Emperor
The Last Emperor, director Bernardo Bertolucci's epic tale of Pu Yi, the exiled final potentate of China's 3,000-year old Qing dynasty, was the big winner at the 1988 Academy Awards, taking Oscars for (among others) Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Score.

The composing trio of Sakamoto/Byrne/Su was an unusual one to be sure, but it's clearly Sakamoto who carries the day here. The avant-garde trained/former Yellow Magic Orchestra pop mastermind crafted a seamless fusion of grand Western themes, Asian shadings, and his own deliciously distinct timbrel sensibilities; an accessible if deceptively modern classicism.

Not surprisingly given his Talking Heads roots, Byrne's efforts are more rhythmic and minimal, yet his consuming passion for world music thoroughly evidences itself as well. His lyric and lilting "Main Title Theme" (one of the film's unusual elements was its use of two main themes by separate composers) may offer a pleasant surprise to listeners overly familiar with his pop work. The composer Cong Su is represented by just one cut; but it's a gentle, ethereal spin on Chinese folk influences that fits well with his fellow composers' work. --Jerry McCulley

DB: "Bernardo, the director, came and saw Stop Making Sense. He saw it in a theatre in Rome and he was knocked out. He liked the film and the performance, but the audience got involved in the film. They got up and danced, they jumped up on the stage, they sang along and whooped and hollered. And he saw people reacting to cinema - it wasn't passive. So he didn't forget me.

So years later he phoned up and asked if I wanted to do some music. And I was in the middle of something or another, and I said, I can spare a few weeks. So I could only do a little bit and Ryuichi (Sakamoto) could only do a little bit, and the other stuff was source music. But it worked out great and it was fun to do. "

  • First Coronation *
  • Open The Door *
  • Where Is Armo? *
  • Picking Up Brides *
  • The Last Emperor (Theme Variation 1) *
  • Rain (I Want A Divorce) *
  • The Baby (Was Born Dead) *
  • The Last Emperor (Theme Variation II) *
  • The Last Emperoror (Theme) *
  • Main Title Theme (The Last Emperor) #
  • Picking A Bride #
  • Bed #
  • Wind, Rain And Water # 
  • Paper Emperor @
  • Lunch @
  • Red Guard @
  • The Emperor's Waltz @
  • The Red Guard Dance @
*) Composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto
#) Composed by David Byrne
@) Composed by Cong Su

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