When is American culture not American?
Tyler Cowen blogs from a UNESCO meeting. Glenn Reynolds points out some of the positives in the post. I found this part more interesting/depressing: [B]oth the French and French-Canadian views are allied by a great suspicion of American culture and of Hollywood in particular. I was quite surprised to hear The Lord of the Rings ...
[B]oth the French and French-Canadian views are allied by a great suspicion of American culture and of Hollywood in particular. I was quite surprised to hear The Lord of the Rings movies used as an example of how cinema reflects an American point of view. Of course the director Peter Jackson is a New Zealander. The author Tolkien was a Brit, and his stories drew on a wide range of influences, many of them Nordic. Most of the characters in the movie are not even human beings. How can this possibly be said to represent American culture in any way that is prejudicial to the Europeans?
Of course, it’s not only American culture that scares the French government. Jacob Levy provides more LOTR commentary for, “the loving nitpickery of the fan– isn’t that what the internet is for?” UPDATE: This anecdote in Newsweek‘s cover story on Return of the King was pretty funny:
“The Return of the King” also delivers spectacular battle sequences—which probably goes without saying, given [Peter] Jackson’s lifelong fascination with warfare. (Tell him you’ve seen an early screening of “Master and Commander,” and he’ll nod excitedly and ask, “How are the battles?” Tell him you’ve seen “The Last Samurai,” and he’ll nod excitedly and ask, “How are the battles?”)
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Twitter: @dandrezner
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