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During the Cultural Revolution in China in the mid-1960s, a French diplomat falls in love with a singer in the Beijing Opera. Interwoven with allusions to the Puccini opera "Madama Butterfly", a story of love and betrayal unfolds.Written by
Michael C. Berch <email@example.com>
Gallimard keeps referring to the aria "Un bel dì vedremo" as Butterfly's "death scene," but it isn't. This song occurs much earlier in the opera, where Butterfly dreams of her American lover returning. Her actual death scene occurs at the very end, during an aria called "Con onor muore." See more »
Drunk in Paris bar:
[Hearing pro-Communist students parading outside]
God damn it! Must be those fucking students again! Talk about China? I'll be you if go out that door you'll think you're back in Beijing! Every damn leftist student in Paris has Mao's little red book in his hand, and a red firecracker up his ass!
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Or, conversely, love doesn't know the gender it loves.
Jeremy Irons and John Lone star in "M. Butterfly," based on the hit play by David Henry Hwang. In the mid-'60s, while the cultural revolution is going on in China, French Vice Consul Phillipe Bouriscot (Irons) falls in love with a singer, Song (John Lone), who performs with the Bejing opera. He believes Song to be a woman. And, like the story of "Madame Butterfly," there is love, there is betrayal, and there is humiliation.
As unbelievable as this story might be, it's based on a true one. The film doesn't go into how this fantasy was actually executed physically, but in point of fact, in real life, the character played by Irons believed he had gotten Song pregnant. Odd but true.
David Cronenberg does an excellent job with this dark, mysterious film, and the actors are terrific, each character hooked on this fantasy in his own way. The end of the film is haunting.
Well worth seeing.
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