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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Madame Butterfly
Directed by Frederic Miterrand
Columbia TriStar 04/97 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Not Rated

This is a vibrant and beautiful French screen adaptation of Puccini's famous opera set in Japan in 1904. Director Frederic Miterrand has opened up the story and done a marvelous job conveying its bittersweet textures.

Ying Huang, a Chinese soprano, is Butterfly, a 15-year-old geisha who falls in love with the dashing Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton (Richard Troxell), an American naval officer on leave in Nagasaki. Sharpless (Richard Cowan), the American consul, sees the union as disastrous, and he is right. Pinkerton leaves Butterfly with her maid Suzuki (Ning Liang) for three years. Butterfly bears her husband's son and faithfully awaits his return.

This top-drawer screen interpretation of Madame Butterfly with subtitles will please opera devotees and enlist new fans as well. The DVD has digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video, remastered in high definition for a widescreen presentation. It includes a featurette, "Portrait of a Butterfly," scene selections, and subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Thai; the audio is in Italian.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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