Giants and Toys : Mass Production and Propoganda


The film Giants and Toys is about three rival caramel companies trying to out wit and out sell their competition.  What the film does in the process of telling the story is that the film also criticizes the food industry of its take on marketing and in mass production of food products.  This can be seen through out the film from the cinematography and use of the sound track in Giants and Toys that is employed by Yasuzo Masumora.


One of the biggest critique Masumora demonstrated in the film is his representation of mass production from the assembly line to the out come of the product.  This can be seen at the beginning of the film when you see a copy and paste like grid of Kyoko Shima.  Not only is it a repetition of an image of Kyoko, but it is also done in black and white.  This represents the lost of quality and uniqueness of an item after it has been made in terms of the benefits of quantity over quality.  Another way Masumora depicted mass production and the assembly line in Giants and Toys is from the sequence of scenes after the intro. The director first shows the incoming factory workers as they walk to their job. However, the director depicts the workers in a certain way.  As the workers walk to their factory they are walking in an orderly fashion, it is almost as if they were marching to their destination.  Furthermore the workers are also wearing the same business attire with drab and dreary colors. This scene is also mirrored in the following scene of the lighter that is superimposed in the background of the factory.  The viewer sees the process of making the mass produced caramel that all looked the same going through the machines in an orderly fashion down the assembly line.  Masumora is comparing and contrasting the two scenes and showing the monotony of the workers and the production of the food through mass production.  It is evident that Masumora is showing this process in a negative light and it can be scene through the first segments of the film.


The second most prominent critique Masumora represented in his film is the marketing that is involved with food industry.  He demonstrated this with his cinematography and his use of the score through out the film.  During the film the characters mention of the fact that how Darwinism is involved in the industry.  Such as survival of the fittest and how the only way to survive is to sell more caramel.  This is further shown and demonstrated through the score that is used through out the film.  The track includes lots of drumming and repartition almost as if it was a war chant.  It is not until towards the end of the film where the song is used in one of Kyoko’s dance number where you can see that it is actually is a war chant with drumming.  Also subtitles were given in this scene to show the nature of the song which is about killing and surviving.   However the most evident display of the film’s representation of marketing was when Masumora used a group of cuts in the movie.  These cuts were used before the “peddling” of caramel by both Giant and World. During these cuts the score is played in the background to set the tone of the war like nature of the following scene.  First the scene depicted advertisements used by the company that looked much like propaganda during a war.  These advertisements showed minimalist type art and a blurb about the product, in this case showing the company and their respected spokes model, much like a propaganda flyer.  Secondly a clip of a helicopter is shown dropping fliers down to the public which is strikingly waresque in style and nature.  This is because helicopters were used during the war to dump their payload and can be seen in other war documentaries and film.  Finally see Apollo’s campaign which is a simple slogan, and slogans were heavily used as war propaganda because of its power to the public.  Over all you can see that marketing in the film is depicted as a dog eat dog world and this can be seen from the score that Masumora implemented to his subtle depiction of the campaigns and slogans the companies used to be viewed as war propaganda.


Giants and Toys is obviously a satire about the food industry but it is quite evident in Masumora’s depiction of the industry that it is very harsh and that the value of the food can be lost in the process of making the item through mass production.


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