Yesterday I went into the city for a book signing at Kinokuniya bookstores near Bryant Park where Tatsuya Nakadai and Teruyo Nogami were signing books and other things. Tatsuya Nakadai is a world-famous Japanese actor whose popularity and renown is only rivaled by Toshiro Mifune. The Film Forum is doing a retrospective on many of his films for the next two months and so he's visiting for a bit, accompanied by Teruyo Nogami, Kurosawa's longtime script girl and all-around assistant.
When I got to the bookstore I was a few minutes late so I had to stand in the back. There weren't too many people, but everyone was in awe of Mr. Nakadai, making me feel a bit sorry for Ms. Nogami, who didn't receive any questions or comments aside from one during the brief Q & A session. Most of the questions were general things geared towards Nakadai - "You were in the Seven Samurai for only a few seconds, why?" "How was transitioning from stage acting to film acting for you?" - and general praise - "I've waited 30 years to see ____, and it was well worth it. Thank you." - which Nogami and Nakadai received well enough and mostly answered in their responses (except when Nakadai stood up to answer the Seven Samurai question, he went on ab out the first time he met Nogami, not answering the question at all. Maybe in an attempt to redirect attention towards her or maybe just to be silly.)
I have already read the book Nogami wrote and was promoting, Waiting on the Weather, a collection of memories she had in working with Kurosawa and on her life within the movie business. Some of the stories are very entertaining and insightful while others seem like hero-worship-type praise for her heroes. In any case, I got the book signed (actually Marlo did as I stood in the Nakadai line, which was ten times longer) and then got my DVD booklets signed by Nakadai, one for Harakiri and one for Ran, a movie that means a lot to me. Nogami also signed the back of my Ran booklet. Catherine Cadou was there to interpret.
I managed to take a few pictures, as did Marlo: