Archive for December, 2010
The Economist takes note of a new variation on an old theme: a Chinese take on the classic “grand tour” of Europe. From the story:
China’s newly mobile middle classes like to visit established spots like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Venice’s Grand Canal. But the visitors have also marked out a grand tour all of their own, shaped by China’s fast-developing consumer culture and by distinctive quirks of culture, history and politics. The result is jaw-dropping fame, back in China, for a list of places that some Europeans would struggle to pinpoint on a map: places like Trier, Metzingen, Verona, Luxembourg, Lucerne and the Swiss Alp known as Mount Titlis.
And thus Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s tour de force performance as a knee pad-wearing pilot will be preserved forever by the Library of Congress. “Airplane!” was one of 25 films added to the registry Tuesday. From the press release:
Characterized by a freewheeling style reminiscent of comedies of the 1920s, “Airplane!” introduced a much-needed deflating assessment of the tendency of theatrical film producers to push successful formulaic movie conventions beyond the point of logic. One of the film’s most noteworthy achievements was to cast actors best known for careers in melodrama productions, e.g., Leslie Nielsen, and provide them with opportunities to showcase their comic talents.