Earlier today I had the wonderful experience of seeing my favorite Kurosawa film, Ran (1985), at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, NY with the legendary Tatsuya Nakadai in attendance. Before the film he stood up and waved to the crowd. He then sat down and watched the entire film with us.
Afterward he generously took part in a Q&A with the museum’s moderator and a translator. I don’t know if this has ever been mentioned in other interviews or film essays, but Nakadai said his favorite of all the films he has made is Kobayashi’s Harakiri (1962), while his favorite film made with Kurosawa is High and Low (1963). He didn’t tell too many anecdotes about Ran but he claimed that when his character, Lord Ichimonji, fell from a cliff, he fell from a height as great as the top of the movie screen’s curtain – quite a distance and without a stuntman.
Apparently Nakadai comes to New York City every year to see plays (he didn’t specify what kind), though earlier he had mentioned that he’s a big fan of Shakespeare so perhaps he has seen Shakespeare in the Park. All in all it was a terrific experience; just being able to see Ran on the big screen would have been enough, but having Tatsuya Nakadai there made it really special.