Your friendly neighborhood globetrotter
A reviewer of Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien! is attracted to the steadfast quaintness of Colin Ross & co.
The review begins by stating the compensatory function of the travelogue experience: Colin Ross is circling the globe “in the manner in which we go on a weekend outing to Neubrandenburg or Trebbin.” This creates a difference between the star of travel reporting and “us poor audiences” back in Berlin “who should be glad if we manage to stick our noses out of little Europe just once in our life”. Indeed, international travel was very much restricted to the European upper classes in the late 1920s and early 1930s. But the comparison between Ross and his German audience also implies a familiarity that is crucial to his brand’s appeal, as Ross and his “unflappable family collective” behave as if they are just going on a weekend trip even when down under.
This family collective has become familiar to the reviewer in a second sense, as well. After years of being exposed to the public, they are addressed as popular fiction characters with well-established traits: “The images he shoots are unthinkable without little sturdy Ralph and his bigger sister Renate, who sometimes mothers him and which he doesn’t like at all.”
H.P. Der neue Colin-Roß-Film. Vossische Zeitung: 1930 Nov 15; 541.
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30