• This month, the Alamo Ritz Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, is devoting its weekly Music Monday series to a presentation of the late David Bowie’s work in and influence on cinema. This week’s offering is Nagisa Oshima’s 1983 WWII drama Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. The film centers on Major Jack Celliers, a British officer held captive in a Japanese prison camp, and the complex relationships he develops with his commanders and fellow POWs. The unique portrait of WWII and tale of cultural discord features an award-winning, synth-heavy score by Japanese musical legend Ryuichi Sakamoto (who also appears in the film, as the camp commander obsessed with Celliers). See the film in Austin next week, and in the meantime, watch the original trailer for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence above, which offers a sampling of Sakamoto’s music and Bowie’s fascinating performance.

6 comments

  • By deckard
    February 18, 2016
    08:41 PM

    Beautiful film. Sakamoto's music should work (synth score for a WWII period piece) but it does far above. And Bowie knocks this performance out of the ballpark, picks the ball up and knocks it out of the parking lot. I'm still rather sad and confused that Criterion, who usually always does a touching write up to past artists who have been featured in their films, didn't do one after the Thin White Dukes passing. I'm confounded by this.
    Reply
    • By thevoid99
      February 19, 2016
      05:22 PM

      Agreed. I just hope they do a Criterion release on "The Hunger" and "Basquiat" to do more on Bowie. :(
  • By HUSKY
    February 19, 2016
    08:20 AM

    Well said.
    Reply
    • By deckard
      February 19, 2016
      10:50 PM

      Thank you. Its a proper head scratcher they didn't do one. I keep looking and almost thought they did when I saw Mr. Jones face.
  • By deckard
    February 19, 2016
    10:49 PM

    I would love a Criterion release of the Hunger. More than likely won't happen though since Warner rarely coughs up their releases on loan. And they do have a blu ray release of it from their Archives series. Really REALLY hoping Criterion gets the Man Who Fell to Earth back seeing how a proper blu release is now nowhere to be found.
    Reply
  • By Said Parker
    February 21, 2016
    12:13 AM

    I would also like to see The Hunger get Criterion treatment...I guess the same would go for Excalibur, another I'd love to see here..also Warner Bros.
    Reply