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DVD: Madame Butterfly (1995)
Review Rating:   Standard  
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Columbia Tri-Star 
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1 (NTSC)

February 26, 2002



Genre: Opera / Performing Arts  
A young geisha falls for an American sailor in turn-of-the-century Japan, and sacrifices everything when he seemingly abandons her for three years.



Directed by:

Frederic Mitterrand
Screenplay by: Frederic Mitterrand
Music by: Giacomo Puccini
Produced by: Daniel Toscan du Plantier,  Pierre-Olivier Bardet

Ying Huang,  Richard Troxell,  Ning Liang,  Richard Cowan,  Jing Ma Fan,  Christopheren Nomura,  Constance Hauman,  Yo Kusakabe,  Kamel Touati,  Miki-Lou Pinard,  Edmund-Zelotes Toliver,  Yoshi Oida

Film Length: 134 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.85:1
Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   Italian (Dolby Surround)
Subtitles: Chinese,  English,  Portuguese,  Spanish,  Thai
Special Features :  

Making of Featurette (12:01 English and French with English subtitles)

Comments :

Bannered with "Martin Scorsese Presents," Puccini's opera comes in an artfully photographed movie, shot on location in Tunisia (!), and starring American tenor Richard Troxell and newcomer sporano Ying Huang. Director Frederic Mitterand realizes a successful balance with artful locations and detailed interior sets, and establishes a unique lighting scheme that bridges natural and more tradition stage lighting. The result is a stage production that happens to be the size of a small seaside village.

Columbia's DVD offers a nice transfer, with a little subtle artifacting during a few fades, and a few solid backgrounds revealing the active sampling. The surround field is pretty much inactive, since the music and libretto are the main stars, although there are some rudimentary sound effects for obvious onscreen actions.

The only extra is a making-of featurette that focuses heavily on Ying Huang. Ending with a still of the CD soundtrack, the short feels more like an intro piece for a rising opera star, but there's some interesting behind-the-scenes material, involving rehearsals, studio recording, filming to playback, and shooting on location with Nature's looming elements.


© 2002 Mark R. Hasan

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