Hideo Nakata could be called the godfather of contemporary Japanese horror, but he would probably hate the label. Regardless, this 52-year-old director of such genre classics as “Ring,” “Ring 2” and “Honogurai Mizu no Soko kara (Dark Water)” has made J-horror — a combination of present-day settings and technology (the death-dealing video tapes in “Ring”) and age-old lore about vengeful spirits — into a global brand.

I first met Nakata during his many interviews with local journalists at the Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy, which screened his thriller “L no Honto no Himitsu (L: Change the World),” the last film in the “Death Note” trilogy.

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