The musicalized soundtracks of Armadillo. Emotional realism and real emotions
Keywords:Armadillo, soundtrack, music, sound effects, emotional realism.
“To you it’s film, to them it’s reality” is the translated poster headline of the Danish war documentary Armadillo (Janus Metz, May 2010), a much-debated Cannes award-winning film that follows Danish soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. The article uses this headline as a framework for analyzing, comparing and discussing the film’s “musicalized” soundtracks on various media platforms (cinema, YouTube, television, DVD), and it argues that these soundtracks contribute to the viewer’s experience of emotional realism, as well as to an experience of the emotional reality – the soldiers’ or the viewer’s own. The political, journalistic and in particular aesthetic ambitions of producers and directors have contributed to developing Danish documentary films into a successful brand within the last decade. Using examples from the public reception of and debate on Armadillo, the article discusses how this development may have led to an increased emphasis on the emotional impact of musicalized soundtracks and a new premise for documentary reception.
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