Top: Kendo Players (Takahiro Ohde and Amanda Park), New York City Kendo Club.
Middle: Actors Marianne Newhard and Koji Nishiyama.
Film Stills from Teaser: Amy Guggenheim, Director; Jason Beasely, Cinematographer
Bottom: Tanroh Ishida, in the lead role of Toshi.
We had a wonderful shoot for our teaser, now in post production - test scenes of the kendo and dramatic scenes, and a new collaboration with Kataoka Noboru, Sword Choreographer. We shot on location at Ken Zen Institute in Tribeca, and in various interior and exterior locations in Brooklyn, including Jane's Carousel.
“Zen speaks of the sword of life and the sword of death, and it is the work of a great Zen master to know when and how to wield either of them. Manjusri carries a sword in his right hand and a sutra in his left. This may remind us of the prophet Mohammed, but the sacred sword of Manjusri is not to kill any sentient beings, but our own greed, anger, and folly. It is directed toward ourselves, for when this is done the outside world, which is the reflection of what is within us, becomes also free from greed, anger, and folly." D.H. Suzuki
Location Shots for WNTD Teaser - preparing to shoot February 28th!
"Art conceals and reveals at the same time. Part of the concept of the garden is that you never see it all at once. This I got from my understanding of Japanese gardens, that the way to see a garden is by circling it, by walking through it.
You don't see the garden as a whole from any point, but you begin to know it by making a tour around it. Then it becomes a garden in the mind, and you become the instrument that defines it, just as you have to create the wholeness of the poem in our mind. Though you learn the meaning of a poem, the sense of a poem, word by word, in the end what you have is a fusion.....
Poetry is a secret language. It is not the language of the day. It is not the domestic language. It contains within it the secret sources of one's own life energy and life convictions....
One of the great delights of poetry is that when you're really functioning, you're tapping into the unconscious in a way that is distinct from the ordinary, the customary, use of the mind in daily life. You're somehow cracking the shell separating you from the unknown."
In the film, two young people looking for a better way to live, brings them to Kendo practice.
It always starts the same......Walk into another space.....leave behind the day.....Dress, in 'Hakama' [Pleated Pants] and 'Gi' [Cotton Jacket] ....On the ground in 'Seiza', [Seated] set the 'Men' [Helmet] on the 'Kote' [Wrist Guards]....put on the 'Tenegui'[Head Towel], the 'Men' [Helmet] and the 'Bogu' [Torso Guard]....Slide the 'Tsuba' [Guard] on the 'Shinai' [Bamboo sword] and meditate. Rise, 'Men' faces 'Men'........'Hajime'! [Begin!]
"The sword here represents the force of intuitive or instinctual directness, whch, unlike the intellect, does not divide itself, blocking its own passageway." - D.T. Suzuki in Zen and Swordsmanship