I can’t really explain this. Just like I can’t really explain the complexities of the Madam Butterfly. I don’t know if I even dare say that the film is about the ideal love, the ideal that one finds within one’s self, the thing that they apply to the rest of the world. The play itself is about a French man whom falls for an oriental woman, an artist, as she’s singing the lament to Madame Butterfly. (An opera about, ironically and thematically symbolically enough, an oriental woman whom falls for a western man, who then kills herself when he stops returning her affections.) They share a rather deep connection despite the fact the woman, Song, has been… Ahem. Secretly ‘plugging’ Rene for information from the embassy he works for. (Don’t allow me to get into the significance of their names.) Long torrid affair, plus a child equals a trial in which Song reveals that she is a he.
The idea is that Rene is fooled so completely because “only a man knows how a woman is supposed to act.” There’s a Metamorphosis of Rene. (Like the butterfly??) And at the play, he’s standing before an audience of his fellow prisoners, painting himself up like the Madame Butterfly, he’s changed, Song’s changed. Mme. Butterfly has become M. Butterfly. Hense the title.
And I don’t know why I explained that all. But there’s a layer underneath this drawing that I coloured over in charcoal. It’s another mixed medium. I did it in pencil, touched it with colour (Inspired by Jeremy Iron’s Geisha colours at the end.) then shadowed over some things in PSP. I don’t know. I don’t know if I can explain this anymore than that. Given the story, and what I was trying to portray at the time, I don’t know if it matters. Oddly enough this is more my style. No Edward Gorey here.
I hope I didn't give away anything about the play, if any of you were interested in it. Though honestly, It helps knowing some things. Its a greek tragedy like that.