Toys – Grant Munro (NFB) – experimental film
mattby Matt Joyce

On the surface, the short film, Toys (1966) by Grant Munro, can be seen as an anti-war film. A message about the effects war toys have on children, it reveals how their glamorization has noticeable repercussions, potentially furthering desensitization to violence. Though this is not the sole message, the film’s derived authenticity comes from its use of dualities. Through the cinematic use of pixilation, realist film form and chosen composition, the film dissolves the structures that separate common binary oppositions. These formal elements, combined with the humanist relation between child and toy, attempt to merge the dichotomies that society understands and perceives as being either fantasy or reality, probable or improbable connections.

The film begins by situating the child in the domain of fantasy – a toy store – a place filled with imagination, where the displays of possibility captivate the mind. The camera portrays faces of excitement and wonder as these children mentally debate their favourite figure. More »