Saturday, November 13, 2010

Film Review - Barbarella 1968


Barbarella is a science fiction film based on Jean-Claude Forest’s French comics. The film itself was directed by Roger Vadim who had his wife at the time Jane Fonda star in his film. Vadim adaptation of the originally story is greatly influenced by the 60’s and this can be seen as you watch the film.  


Set in the 41st century Jane Fonda plays Barbarella an innocent space agent who seems to spend most of the film with her clothes off. Starting straight form the opening scene where Barbarella strips down to nothing in zero gravity with the opening credits appearing.  

 Barbarella is sent on a vital mission by the President of Earth Republic. In which she has to located missing scientist Duran Duran. Her mission is sidetracked when her ship crashes and lands on an icy planet. It is here where she encounters all sorts of strange inhabitants including a band of children with killer dolls, a hairy man, a blind angel and several other things that you wouldn’t expect. When Barbarella finally finds Duran Duran she finds out that he is actually evil and plans to take over the throw of the queen of the planet. The film ends up with Barbarella flying away with the angel that she fell in love with. Throughout the mission Barbarella learns the joys of old-fashioned sex, seduces an angel, and almost dies from pleasure at the hands of the evil Doctor Durand-Durand and his Excessive torture device.


Even tough Barbarella is set in the future “The overall tone of this film, was deeply influenced by the uninhibited adventurous spirit, of the late 60s.” About the time that this film in 1968 is was still a time of free love. This is seen throughout the film by the character Barbarella. Who was sent on a mission but somehow manages to sleep with several man throughout the film and just cant seem to keep her clothes on for the rest of the time. Even the pill that is talked about in the film can be seen as a metaphor for the contraception pill which was a big thing when this film was made. Just Everything about this film just screams the 60’s from the attitudes of the characters to even the outfits that Barbarella wears.


As based on Jean-Claude Forest’s comic "Barbarella" is a live action comic book.” and Vadim had made it so that his film relates to comics. For starts the way that Barbarella saves the day after everything she goes through and like most comics the hero/heroine save the day at the end. As well the bright colours can be related back to comic's but it could be said that it is influenced by the sixties which was all about the bright and bold colours.

Barbarella might not be one of the best films but it does show us how a director uses influences of what was happening around him as well as what was happening to him in his film.  "Barbarella is undoubtedly one of his best-known films, it is is also his most flawed and atypical." The best thing about this film is that you can see the influences and metaphors that Vadim has used to make Barbarella.


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