Jorge Luis Borges once noted that camels are never once mentioned in the Koran, which proves it is an authentically Arabic book. Anyone who isn’t from the Middle East writing a book set there would feel compelled to mention camels, whether it was necessary for the story or mere tokenism. Reading that Borges essay has given me a critical eye for set and setting, and now any details in a work I examine whether I think they were there organically or to remind you of the setting.
It’s truly astounding how whenever characters go to New Orleans it just so happens to be Mardis Gras or at very least Mardis Gras is gratuitously mentioned, similar with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. No matter what city a film takes place in, you can guarantee that whatever landmark it is known for will make an appearance. In Ratatouille the Eiffel Tower is present pretty much whenever they are outside, even Linguini’s shitty apartment had a clear view of it. That’d be some prime real estate. I’ve been to Paris and I know first hand the Eiffel Tower isn’t omnipresent, I didn’t even see it on my first day there because my hotel room wasn’t anywhere near it.