Giant Robot Store and GR2 News

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Giant Robot 2 (GR2) as you know it is going to change in 2012. In just a few days, there will be some light construction. Our “little big planet” will shift off it’s axis just a little and a new GR2 will be born and at the same time, a slightly different GR1 will emerge at the same time.

GR2 began in 2003 with a solo exhibition by our close friend David Choe in a hybrid space that focused on art, artists products, house wares and more. Since then, we’ve had at least one exhibition a month and in 2012, we’ll continue in a much larger space dedicated to art. We’ll have all four walls white and available as a challenge to the many artists we work with and they’ll have to rise to the challenge.

Aside from art exhibitions, we’ve featured various book signings, video game nights and even concerts. We’ll continue those too. Also, some of you don’t realize having a space like GR2 expanded that the hard work from GR2 developed into the other offsite shows including ones with Toyota Scion and Giant Robot Biennale which took place in 2007, 2009, and will happen again in 2012.

In a quickly sketched Illustrator mock-up that is less exciting than the concept and hopefully result, you’ll have to imagine that merchandise will be transferred to Giant Robot 1. Art items will remain, the shelves pulled off and the posters, prints and extra art will be displayed in a smaller section towards the front. The artists will have double the space, if not a bit more to work with. I’ll post photos as it takes place.

That said we’ll be closed a few days in early January and a Pvrinted Matter show is scheduled to begin Jan 11, 2012. It’s been a great ride so far, and hopefully by adding and subtracting, it’ll be that much more exciting.

Apak!, Chris Bettig, Jude Buffum, Burlesque Printing, Louise Chen, Shawn Cheng, David Choe, James Chong, Dutch Door Press, ENFU, Ines Estrada, Jesse Fillingham, Hilary Florido, Matt Furie, Gabe Gonzales, Kio Griffith, Seonna Hong, Kerry  Horvath, Michael & Pearl  Hsiung, Martin Hsu, Mari Inukai, Jeremyville, Kaori Kasai, kozyndan, Jesse LeDoux, Little Friends of Printmaking, Bradford Lynn, Dan McCarthy, Gary Musgrave, Masato Nakada, Saelee Oh, Martin Ontiveros, Panorama Press, Sidney Pink, Albert Reyes, Jay Ryan, Jessica Seamans, Ryan Jacob Smith, Dave Stolte, Diana Sudyka, Deth P. Sun, Jesse Tise, Aiyana Udesen, Justin Wallis, Jing Wei, Kent Williams, Aaron Woes Martin, Sashiko Yuen
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Get a free copy of Norwegian Wood, the novel by Haruki Murakami. Just follow the directions which are a) spend $40 and b) mention Norwegian Wood in the notes of your order. We have copies for both online and the store. We’ll also throw in what promo materials we have for the upcoming film opening soon. Take a look at the site for the show schedules. *In store folks, as an added bonus, we’ll also give you a signed mini poster with Rinko Kikuchi and Tran Anh Hung’s autograph. All you have to do is spend $40! Norwegian Wood Movie.  The link to the GR Store.   Here’s the poster:  
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Rinko Kikuchi might be best known for her role as the mute school girl in Babel directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Nominated for an Oscar, she’s gone on to numerous projects including Brothers Bloom and is in 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves and yet another project currently filming with Guillermo Del Toro. Her role in Tran Anh Hung directed adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood is far from a tender character as she’s cast as Naoko, a person who’s mentally ill, plagued by her own demons. Kikuchi currently lives in New York City and we caught up with her during her Norwegian Wood promotions. Her English is coming along as well as her acting roles.


GR: Can you tell me about your experience of reading Norwegian Wood?

RK: When I read the book, I was the same age as Naoko, so I fell in love with Naoko’s character and ten years later, I got this role. Now I understand her better than when I first read the book.


GR: When I read some books when I was younger and then I re-read it again at a different time it felt a lot different. How did you see that? Did it change a little bit when you read it one more time before the movie?

RK: Yea, when I made this film, I learned everything has an end. Naoko and Kizuki wanted to keep their beautiful memory so they committed suicide. They were scared to open the other door, you know? That’s why I think this book is really beautiful, poetic and fragile. So I got a new experience of the book after making the film.



GR: I know that the character is kind of a difficult one and I was reading how you had to get into that character. How do you do that?

RK: I read the book over and over again, and I asked Naoko questions and tried to get the right answers from her. Right at the beginning of the shoot, the answers and questions melded, so finally I could do that the role, but every specific hint from the novel mattered.

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From Tran Anh Hung, “Murakami and his wife loved the film. I’m not the right person who can repeat all the nice things they said about the movie. They used the word ‘noble’ to describe the movie. That’s all I can say.”

Norwegian Wood is a beloved book by Haruki Murakami. The fans have rallied behind this author in almost any endeavor, thus a film adapted from one of his novels proves to be near impossible in escaping built in scrutiny from the moment it’s conceived. Director of films such as Scent of Green Papayas and Cyclo, Tran Anh Hung rose to the task and proved that a film could be made and done well. The film isn’t action. It’s is a Haruki Murakami novel adapted into a film. It’s meant to be meditative, spiritual and also beautiful which Tran Anh Hung delicately captures. The film will open in January.


GR: Can you talk about your relationship with Haruki Murakami.

TAH: I sent him a letter when I learned that he gave his permission to a Japanese director to adapt one of his short stories. Since I wanted to adapt his books. In ’94 was the first time I read his book. So five years ago I sent him a letter asking him if he would be interested to meet in Tokyo and he said ‘yes, come over’ and that’s how we met for the first time. During this meeting he was very simple. He wanted to read the script and also to know about the budget of the movie.

GR: Oh wow.

TAH: Yea so we spent, the producer and I, a year of two to give him the project.

GR: You’ve mentioned that he is one of your influences. Is that something that you kind of grew up with, did you read his novels?

TAH: No, no, I only read one book. As usual when I’m interested in something I have to keep it very fresh meaning that I was not interested in finding out who is the writer and to read his older books. I didn’t want to read his older books because I only wanted to keep this book very fresh in my mind and wait for the moment where I can sign a contract with a producer to start working on the book. It’s only when I stopped working on the book that I start to learn how important is the book for the people that it’s a very successful book. I didn’t know this before.

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  It’ll have a code that you need to enter in at the email address provided. Here’s more info: “This weekend a number of *very special* copies of Norwegian Wood will be hidden across Manhattan, giving you the chance to attend the New York Premiere with Rinko Kikuchi and Tran Anh Hung next Wednesday. Inside each of the books is a code and email address: just email the code and you’ll be entered into the competition. They’ll be placed at locations related to the film: a record shop, somewhere Beatles-y, a beautiful designer store… and will be easily identifiable by the Pick Me Up yellow sticker that is on the front.”
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