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Madame Butterfly (Widescreen) [Import]
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Madame Butterfly is the heartwrenching story of a beautiful young geisha who sacrifices her family, her religion and, ultimately, her life for her American husband. Butterfly is the young bride of Lieutenant Pinkerton, who buys Butterfly's love while stationed in Japan and with no intention of ever taking her home to America. Martin Scorsese presents this award-winning film based on the popular opera. 133 minutes. Cast:
Ying Huang: Cio-Cio-San
Richard Troxell: Pinkerton
Ning Liang: Suzuki
Richard Cowan: Sharpless
Jing Ma Fan: Goro
Christopheren Nòmura: Prince Yamadori
Constance Hauman: Kate Pinkerton
Like the finest of film scores with its fluid beauty and succession of intensely romantic tunes, Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly has a surprisingly cinematic feel. In 1995 director Frederic Mitterand exploited this quality of the story, exposing a young woman's disillusionment against a backdrop of cultural chasms. Shot on location, with Tunisia doubling convincingly as a turn-of-the-century Nagasaki, this Butterfly shines with fragile beauty. The house becomes a brilliantly used set, at once airy and full of the scent of flowers and at the same time a cage for the trapped woman. Archive footage of bygone Nagasaki is used skillfully to underline the distance between the 15-year-old bride and Pinkerton.
Purists may prefer a more traditionally robust, stage-bound Butterfly, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more visually heartbreaking interpretation. Chinese soprano Ying Huang doesn't rock the rafters with her vocal power; hers is a tender, delicately observed performance. Tenor Richard Troxell's self-seeking Pinkerton is well sung. Overall, this is a haunting cinematic treatment of an enduringly popular opera. --Piers Ford
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Top Customer Reviews
the little goddess of the moon
who comes down by night on the bridge of the sky." ~Butterfly
I love this romantic escape into a fantasy world of dreamy opera and sometimes the singing can literally make you heady. I fell completely in love with this story after listening to a 1987 London recording from the library.
The story begins near Nagasaki, although this movie was filmed in Tunisia. A Japanese house, terrace and garden is situated on a hill overlooking the harbor. There is a sense of serenity and peace, but this does not fully represent the future.
Lieutenant Pinkerton (Richard Troxell) is selecting a home and Goro brings him into the house to show him all the benefits of the house. He in turn thinks the house is "as delicate as a puff of wind." Which could rather be used to describe his commitment to his new bride, Butterfly (Ying Huang). We can't quite figure out why this naval officer wants to buy a bride when he is just going to leave her trapped in a beautiful cage for three years.
Is this not the entire fantasy of the knight who rescues a woman and then puts her in a tower? Yet, here the knight and the maiden don't seem to share the same commitment to one another and when the knight leaves, he seems to forget to even send a note back to the maiden.
The love duets are magnificent and beyond compare. The world literally dissolves when you watch this movie. The letter scene gives you hope and yet the sheer tragedy of the situation reaches new levels when Butterfly tosses Sharpless out of the house due to his heartless comments about her accepting a proposal from Yamadori.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
je suis très content d'avoir trouvé cet opéra de Puccini, dans la réalisation de Frédéric Mitterrand. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2011 by cgv95
I have a number of productions of this opera - both video and audio, but this is, by far the best of the bunch. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2010 by John Langston
More and more directors are choosing to expose the musical fantasy that is opera to cinematic reality. Read morePublished on March 10 2004
The voices are passable. Butterfly is no beauty. The dubbing in of scenes in black and white of that era to accompany one of the most beautiful interludes in opera is a sheer... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004 by manuel M avalos jr
Ms. Ying Huang is so dull and old. Madame Butterfly is a teeage girl. Ying Huang acts like an old woman. Her singing is dull. I can't stand it.Published on Nov. 26 2003
I cannot imagine a better movie treatment of Madama Butterfly than this. In fact, it may be a long time before another one is attempted, simply because this is one tough act to... Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2003 by A. Aguero
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