An Evening With Tatsuya Nakadai (feat. Kurosawa's "Ran")

The world over, there’s simply no equivalent to Japanese screen giant Tatsuya Nakadai, a truly versatile performer capable of both extreme stylization and off-the-cuff naturalism, and a deep collaborator with some of his country’s all-time greatest filmmakers (Kurosawa, Kobayashi, Ichikawa, Naruse, Teshigahara and many more.) Here in the U.S., Nakadai unjustly never became a symbol or an icon, for his screen persona was always too diverse. Whether the format was a samurai sword-and-sandal epic, an emotionally raw, novelistic tragedy or a lurid horror/suspense romp, the genius of Nakadai instantly shone through — and what makes these films timeless partly stems from his perfect marriage of craft, discipline, risk, adventure and expression. Through a rare confluence of events, Tatsuya will be in Los Angeles to join us for a special evening of remembrances, reflections on his craft, and a big-screen show of Ran: Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 jidaigeki battleship, in which Tatsuya grabs the King Lear reins for the stylized performance of a lifetime. Tatsuya may never get to visit Los Angeles again, so come visit with the master for this extraordinary Q&A appearance!

Kurosawa’s RAN – approx. 9:00pm
Delivered with blunt horror, towering visuals and some of the most majestic sweep of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s career, this “God is dead” take on King Lear is void of any sensation of honor — for in A.K.’s vision for this masterpiece, life is a ladder of predation and merciless opportunism. The weak are fair game to be taken, the pious ground to dust, and “victory” arrives via suckerpunches of gunfire and betrayal. A damnation portrait of existential horror in the feudal era, Ran is bathed in electric color, and covered in fine-detail flourishes: the symbolism of clouds, the subtle uses of natural light, the over-the-top costumes, and the landscape-porn avalanche of wide shots that crawl over poison-green mountains and scorched earth. At the center of this blood-red whirlwind: Tatsuya Nakadai, painting his heart black in a Noh-fueled rendition of “Lord Hidetora”, obliterating himself in freefall alongside his disintegrating kingdom. Impossibly cool stuff.
Ran Dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1985, 35mm, 160 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “An Evening With Tatsuya Nakadai”!