In the middle of a fierce commercial competition between three caramel companies, an executive builds up a ditsy teenage girl as a mascot while simultaneously trying to uncover the rival companies' plans.
Yuko is sent to the coastal regions to be raised away from the rest of her sophisticated family where she finds out from her ill grandmother that she is actually the love child of her wealthy businessman father and his ex-secretary.
In post-war Japan, sixteen-year-old Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a maiko (geisha apprentice). Eiko explains that her mother - who ... See full summary »
As much a film of its moment as Sweet Smell of Success and just as lasting in its pertinence, this cruel satire is Masumura's masterpiece - although an excellent script (from a Ken Kaiko novel) and terrific cast deserve their share of the credit. Three confectionery companies are locked in cut-throat rivalry for a share of a market increasingly dominated by imported US candy. Goda (Takamatsu), a thrusting young exec with World Caramel, spots a young woman out shopping and decides to turn her into a celebrity who can star in his plan for a space age ad campaign. Kyoko Shima (Nozoe), averagely pretty and with exceptionally bad teeth, takes to the Pygmalion treatment like a duck to water and soon leaves behind her job with a failing taxi firm and her dysfunctional family. Goda's assistant Nishi (Kawaguchi), who dates a woman exec from a rival firm and proves a useless industrial spy, watches as both the girl and his boss succumb to mega-greed; the film's ending turns on whether or not ...Written by
Giants & Toys - One the main reasons I watched Giants & Toys was for the simple theme of the 1950's space craze. I love that era and 1950's Science Fiction. And I wasn't disappointed, I loved to see all the toys used as props in the movie, more than once stopping to get better look at them. What that stuff would be worth on eBay! It seems frivolous, but it did get me to watch the movie.
Giants & Toys is biting commentary on then contemporary 1950's Japanese life. It shows a society where corporations have taken over the Samuri Class role. Life belongs to your company. In the end, even beating down the most idealistic employee. From all I've read about Japanese corporate culture, this is what it is like.
More than just commentary on Japanese life, Yasuzo Masumura (director), Takeshi Kaikô (novel) and Yoshio Shirasaka (writer) are prophetic in the assessment of pop culture and media even in today's society. About thirty minutes into the movie there a line about "stars getting their 15 minutes of fame." Now that line may have not been a literal translation from the Japanese, but even so. Worhol's comment on fleeting fame wasn't made until 1968, ten years after Giants & Toys. I would love to find out what actually was said in that scene (anybody care to translate). I also wonder if this movie was an inspiration to Worhol.
I definitely put this into a must watch category. I look forward to checking out more Masumura films.
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