Thursday, May 3, 2007


Barbarella; Science-Fiction comedy, France/ Italy, 1968; D: Roger Vadim, S: Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Palenberg, David Hemmings, Milo O'Shea

The year is 40.000. President of the Earth, Diantus, gives the space agent Barbarella the assignment to find the lost scientist Durand Durand who invented a dangerous positron ray that could endanger the peace in the Galaxy. With the help of her spaceship, Barbarella comes to the system Ceti but crashes on a inhabited planet. There she gets captured by children, but saved by some hunter who teaches her the secrets of intercourse. She then continues to a labyrinth, meets a blind angel, Pygara, and enters a land that is ruled by a black queen. Barbarella finally meets Durand who wants to rule the Galaxy and who captures her together with the queen. But then the strange liquid Mantos gets released and kills Durand, while Pygara flies away with the queen and Barbarella.

Some movies gain cult status regardless to all the efforts of critics who would have wanted them to be forgotten and erased from the movie history as soon as possible. "Barbarella" is one of such movies because it gained such status more thanks to it's bizarreness alone than thanks to some outstanding quality. The story is thin, episodic, poor with humor and seems more like an excuse to put Jane Fonda's attractive body into various tight costumes, while the dialogues and the mood sometimes even resemble like a soft porn without intercourse. Still, in the first half it contains a lot of charm, like in the famous sequence in which the title character undresses in zero gravity while her intimate parts are conveniently concealed by the titles in the opening credits or when she is conducting "elevated" intercourse by simply touching her palm with the palm of a man, and it's imagination and set design are memorable even today. "Barbarella" is a guilty pleasure but it's more interesting to just watch the poster for 90 minutes than the film itself.


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