M Butterfly on DVD May 26, 2009


New interview with director David Cronenberg; Theatrical trailer

David Cronenberg’s cinematic intensity eviscerates this adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s passionate stage production. Based on a true incident involving a French diplomat who carried on an affair for 18 years with a man the diplomat thought was a woman, M. Butterfly begins in 1964 Beijing when French foreign service employee Rene Gallimard (Jeremy Irons) becomes smitten with Chinese opera performer Song Liling (John Lone). Before long, Gallimard is enamored with Song, and they begin an inflamed affair — bracketed by the stipulation that Gallimard will never be allowed to look upon her in a state of complete undress. Gallimard agrees to the rules, but, as he climbs up the diplomatic ladder, the communist government gets involved, corralling Song to become an informer for the government. When, at last, Gallimard’s passion demands nudity, Song flees the relationship. Gallimard, pining for his lost love, then becomes a physical and mental wreck. He leaves China and accepts a two-bit diplomatic position, but then Song appears once again to Gallimard. At that point, Gallimard is arrested and, during the subsequent sensational trial for treason, his affair is exposed for the sham that it is. Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

Scene Index

Disc #1 — M. Butterfly
1. Credits [2:31]
2. Certainly Different [1:38]
3. Entrance of Butterfly [2:42]
4. Beautiful to a Westerner [2:55]
5. Piece of Beautiful Music [3:02]
6. At the Opera [5:35]
7. Wings Fluttering in the Dark [3:56]
8. Implications [4:56]
9. Unfriendly Party [2:43]
10. Letters to a White Devil [2:14]
11. Unexpected Good News [2:30]
12. Most Forbidden of Loves [5:30]
13. New Vice-Consul [1:38]
14. At the Great Wall [2:00]
15. Theories on Oriental Culture [2:17]
16. Practice of Deception [2:04]
17. Still Playing Missionary [2:33]
18. Slave’s Revelation [4:36]
19. Farwell to His Concubine [2:14]
20. What Only a Man Knows [2:00]
21. Flames of Revolution [4:23]
22. Bittersweet Reunion [2:36]
23. Demotion; Hard Labor [3:29]
24. Tear-Stained Memory [3:38]
25. Here in My Arms [2:22]
26. The Trial [5:41]
27. Loving the Lie [6:44]
28. His Biggest Performance [2:29]
29. Madama Butterfly [6:04]
30. End Credits [3:42]

Performance Credits
Jeremy Irons
(Films)(Biography)(Music) Rene Gallimard
John Lone
(Films)(Biography) Song Liling
Ian Richardson
(Films)(Biography)(Music) Ambassador Toulon
Annabel Leventon
(Films)(Music) Frau Baden
Shizuko Hoshi Comrade Chin
Richard McMillan Embassy Colleague
Vernon Dobtcheff Agent Etancelin
Damir Andrei 2nd Intelligence Officer
Deirdre Bowen Actor
Barbara Chilcott Critic at Garden Party
Viktor Fulop Marshal
David Hemblen 1st Intelligence Officer
Sean Hewitt Ambassador’s Aide
Tristram Jellinek Defense attorney
Philip McGough Prosecution attorney
Peter Messaline Diplomat at party
David Neal Judge
Antony Parr 3rd Intelligence Officer
Barbara Sukowa Jeanne Gallimard
Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director
Suzanne Benoit Makeup
John Board Asst. Director
Deirdre Bowen Casting
Denise Cronenberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Bryan Day Sound/Sound Designer
Elinor Rose Galbraith Set Decoration/Design
David Henry Hwang Executive Producer, Screenwriter
Alicia Keywan Art Director
Gabriella Martinelli Producer
James McAteer Art Director
Ronald Sanders Editor
Howard Shore Score Composer
Carol Spier Production Designer
Marilyn Stonehouse Production Designer
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer

TrackBack Identifier URI