• From Disney to Dystopia: Transforming “Brazil” For A U.S. Audience

    Author(s):
    Kariann Goldschmitt (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Ethnomusicology
    Subject(s):
    Ethnomusicology, Musicology
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Brazil, Disney, film music
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6GZ4N
    Abstract:
    Ever since appearing in Disney's Saludos Amigos (1942), Ary Barroso's musical ode to the Brazilian motherland, “Brazil,” is among the most recognizable songs circulating in Western Culture about Brazil. This essay shows how the song became detached from its roots as a nationalist samba to represent in audiovisual media such divergent ideas as tropical paradise and dystopian futures. Dominant uses of “Brazil” often accompany iconic images from Rio de Janeiro that idealise the country as a tropical fantasy. By contrast, another more subversive interpretation of “Brazil” appears in the Michael Kaman’s score for Brazil (1984), a dystopian science fiction comedy. That recontextualization made the song more adaptable such that film trailer houses often use the arrangement in contexts that amplify the film’s dystopian vision and erase connections with Brazil as a tropical paradise. “Brazil” has also changed as a different kind of fantasy in the marketing campaign and theme music for ITV’s broadcast of the 2014 World Cup for UK audiences. These cases show how a samba came to index fantasies that disrupt notions of Western progress and even warn of the dangers of its excess.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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