Internationally renowned artist Michel Comte and his wife Ayako Yoshida have completed principal photography on their first feature film, The Girl from Nagasaki. They have also revealed a first look photo.
The film is a multimedia, contemporary retelling of Puccini's classic opera Madame Butterfly. After filming around the world in numerous locations including Japan, Germany, the United States, and Italy, Comte chose to film his grand finale at Teatro Valle in Rome, one of the first opera houses to premiere Puccini's original "Madame Butterfly." The film stars both Mariko Wordell and prima ballerina Polina Semionova as the tragic geisha Madame Butterfly, Ayako Yoshida as her faithful maid Suzuki, and both Edoardo Ponti and Christopher Lee as Officer Pinkerton. The movie boasts an eclectic, global, and multi-generational cast including Robert Evans, Nobu Matsuhisa, Michael Nyqvist, Michael Wincott, Anna Orso, Clemens Schick, Lisa Zane, Mehmet Yumak, Burhan Öçal, Marianne Faithfull and Sasha Alexander.
The Girl from Nagasaki, presented in Comte's inimitable, lush visual style, is shot in 3D live action including musical performances, contemporary ballet, and original animated sequences. It is a musical presentation featuring a combination of current and classic artists in a post-modern sensory feast that Comte often refers to as his trans-opera.
Comte and Yoshida's Madame Butterfly begins with the first atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the film develops, Madame Butterfly emerges from the ashes of World War II metamorphosing into today's modern world in a dramatic portrayal of the harsh differences between Japanese and Western values.
The Girl from Nagasaki written in collaboration with Anne-Marie Mackay, explores themes of physical claustrophobia and psychological confinement in this examination of dogmatic conflicts. To further the central topic of isolation, Comte employs the skills of artist and creative director James Dean to fabricate numerous sets that effectively juxtapose a celestial vastness with a daunting entrapment. Comte's use of the 3D camera accentuates his phenomenal use of space and light incorporating a visceral experience to accompany this claustrophobia that takes place on the screen.
The Swiss born artist, Michel Comte, is one of the world's foremost photographers with his subjects spanning the worlds of art, sport, fashion and film. In addition to his iconic portraits and advertising campaigns, Comte has increasingly moved into photo reportage and documentary work depicting war zones and the unstable areas of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sudan and Cambodia on assignments for the International Red Cross as well as his own Michel Comte Water Foundation.
The Girl from Nagasaki was released in 2013 and stars Christopher Lee, Sasha Alexander, Michael Wincott, Michael Nyqvist, Hal Yamanouchi, Mac Miller, Lisa Zane, Robert Evans. The film is directed by Michel Comte, Ayako Yoshida.