During Act 2 and Act 3, a blooming wisteria is shown to be growing along the house's roof above the porch. In reality wisteria would not have been grown here as the house's structure would have been unsuitable for it. Wisteria is a plant known to become heavy and massive with age; it would have been grown along a sturdy trellis or stone wall instead as not to cause any damage. See more »
Mitterand's production of Madame Butterfly is an outstanding piece of movie-making. Handled so delicately, the film will have appeal to both opera lovers & movie buffs alike.An enchanting love story, beautiful singing, music by Puccini, an interesting set ( a "house of cards" atop a mountain with views of sea and sky) make for a handsome film. I like the opening sequence which quickly establishes the atmosphere of old Japan. We are introduced to the main character- Butterfly, a 15 year old Japanese girl whose family has fallen into poverty & B.F. Pinkerton, a naval officer, her self-assured American lover who treats her as a sexual plaything. Sacrificing all her ties with the Japanese way of life Butterfly agrees to marry Pinkerton. During the marriage celebrations her absent Uncle Bonzo appears magically suspended in the sky & he casts her into eternal damnation for renouncing her people and ancient rites. This is the only weak point in the movie. It's such a serious moment and yet I wanted to laugh. It's obvious that the three figures in the sky are suspended by wires (a bit jerky too). Why accept this when current cinemaphotography has reached such heights in producing supernatural effects? The characterisations are generally well-done. The part of Butterfly particularly appealing performed with such grace and sincerity. Pinkerton too makes a convincing thoughtless man of the world. In an early scene however he kneels on the floor and converses with Butterfly's maid. I thought this was quite wrong and out of character unless he was trying to ridicule the Japanese customs.When eventually Butterfly becomes pregnant, a son is born, but by now Pinkerton is back in America. For three years she awaits his return. There are some very moving scenes at this point. Finally Pinkerton returns to Nagasaki with an American wife ("a real wife" he calls her). There is a poignant scene when the devoted Butterfly relinquishes her son to Pinkerton's wife. He will go back to the States and be educated there. What future is there for Butterfly? (Tissues may be required at this point!)The ending is heart-rending. I am not a particular lover of opera but after this exciting experience I am ready for more.
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