Mathieu Amalric in The Butterfly © Camera Lucida Productions 2005

The Butterfly (Le Papillon)
Interactive video, 2005

The Butterfly tells the story of a search for happiness. Each time the character reaches his goal, the film continues but the action stops. To the lulling sound of a tranquil musical score, viewers watch the animated picture of a never-ending happy ending. This seems to suit the character well enough but it may soon become boring for the viewers. They in turn have the possibility of escaping this boredom by triggering action, whereupon the character reassesses his life and sets out in search of something new: he becomes a politician, a priest, a vagabond, and so on.

The Butterfly has the stylized form of a fable. There is no speaking but there is a soundtrack. The occasional dialogue is presented through intertitles, while sounds are an integral part of the narrative. At the end of each episode, viewers can intervene at leisure, plunging their hero again and again into the disruption of fiction for the vicarious experience of elation that comes with change.

There is a non-interactive version of The butterfly called The butterfly inconstancies.

“The Butterfly" has been produced by Camera Lucida Productions, with the help of the french ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (Dicream) and the Drac Ile-de-France.

To download a lite free version* of The Butterfly, click here

*547 Mo, for Mac and PC. Needs QuickTime