(Kyojin to gangu, a.k.a. The Build-Up). In the 1950s, Yasuzo Masumura was a maverick intellectual in the ranks of Daiei studio. He showed the cost of conformism in brilliant satires of corporate life and consumerism like this iconoclastic outburst aimed at the advertising biz. Masumura’s fast-paced editing targets the absurdity of his characters’ lives: like rats in a maze, they scurry to secure their social status before their time is up. The plot has three large caramel companies in hot competition; around every corner is an industrial spy. A lower-class girl (Hitomi Nozoe) with stunningly bad teeth is made the mascot for one of the companies, but her animal instincts prevail over product loyalty. Meanwhile, our advertising-executive hero (Hiroshi Kawaguchi), attempting to salvage a bit of his humanity, destroys himself for the good of the company. The idiocy of television production is a running gag as Masumura proves himself to be a Japanese Frank Tashlin.
• Written by Yoshio Shirasaka, based on a story by Ken Kaiko. Photographed by Hiroshi Murai. With Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Hitomi Nozoe, Hideo Takamatsu, Kinzo Shin. (92 mins, In Japanese with English subtitles, Color, ’Scope, 35mm, PFA Collection, permission Kadokawa Pictures, Inc.)
Official Website: http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/film/FN17096
Added by andreibad on July 6, 2008