Groundbreaking Japanese New Wave director Yasuko Masumura helms this satirical critique of the corporate culture in postwar Japan. When the competition between three rival candy companies becomes cutthroat, World Caramels finds a poor girl with horribly bad teeth as their new spokesperson. Unexpectedly, she’s an overnight star and becomes even more ruthless and underhanded than the company’s top executives.
A singularly contradictory figure in Japanese cinema, Yasuzo Masumura directed 58 features between 1957 and 1982. He was trained by and worked for a handful of recognized cinematic masters, but chose to work for the most part in the less reputable world of B-movies. Virtually all of his films were made within the commercial film industry but they display a fierce personal vision imbued with a fascination with madness and a passion for the extremes of human behavior.
Born in 1924, Masumura earned an undergraduate degree in Law from Tokyo University near the end of World War II. He returned to college after the war for another degree in Literature and Philosophy while working as an assistant director at Daiei Studios. (Novelist Yukio Mishima was one of his classmates, and later had a starring role in his gangster thriller Afraid to Die). After graduating in 1949 with a thesis on Kierkegaard, he became the first Japanese student ever accepted to the prestigious Centro Sperimentale… read more
A portrait of Japan hypnotized by d devils of commercialization in the late 50s. Cut-throat competition in d corporate world ensures d sacrifice of ideals n traditional values which contribute to d making of a world where der's no place for ethics n morals;a world where greed reigns supreme. Masumura's social satire is told in a delicious manner with dollops of pop culture aesthetics and in a tone which is skeptical, witty and sad at the same time. His indictment of modern consumer society which includes a piercing look at celebrity culture and d ways in which d media contributes to it, while maintaining a sarcastic tone throughout, laments d fact that men have been rendered emotionless by the dynamics of a 'modern' society and traditions have gone for a toss in a hellish society where in order to survive, one must "Eat or be eaten,cheat or be cheated."
This biting satire on the cutthroat world of product advertising is a dazzling, pop art feast for the eyes which starts off bright and cheerful but bares some teeth as it reaches its climax as Masumura criticizes the soullessness of post-war Japanese business. The third Masumura movie I've watched this week, each completely different to the previous one. I look forward to watching more of his work...