“Harakiri,” a critique of the Japanese feudal structure, will be screened on Thursday, Oct. 27, and “Age of Assassins,” a satire of spy movies, on Friday, Oct. 28. Both films, which are in Japanese with English subtitles, will be shown at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St. The screenings are free and open to the public.
In a career that spans seven decades, Nakadai has become one of Japan’s most celebrated actors. His films have won Academy Awards, as well as prizes at the Cannes, Berlin, and Venice film festivals. He has been honored for his work both on stage and screen with the Mainichi Film Award, the Blue Ribbon Award, and the Kinokuniya Theater Award. The Japanese government awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun (2003) and named him as a Person of Cultural Merit (2007. In 2015 he was given the Order of Culture by the emperor of Japan, the highest award for a person in the arts and sciences. At age 83, he still acts full time, with three films slated for 2016, as well as a stage production written by Brecht.
Nakadai has worked with numerous renowned directors, and has also starred in the British film “Return from the River Kwai” (1989), the Hong Kong production of “The Wicked City”(1992), and the Italian “spaghetti” western “Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die!”(1968).
In 1975, Nakadai and his wife, Miyazaki Yasuko, started Mumeijuku, an acting troupe and a theater school, where he trains promising actors at no cost.
Nakadai’s visit is co-sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies at the MacMillan Center at Yale, the Japan Foundation, and Films at the Whitney.