Watching, the room as the beginning sequence of Roger Vadim’s depiction of the Barbarella comic strip. It was easy to feel divide in the room as the males drooled over the Strip Tease of Jane Fonda and as the female gave the sigh of another typical male flick. Yet this wouldn’t have been the case for its times as the new rave of casual sex and outlandish fashion this only supplied to revolutionary time period not to mention throwing out some exotic set designs not yet discovered by the film industry.
Barbarella is a sci-fi epic in which a young beautiful heroine is set a mission to recover a scientist lost on an ‘uncivilised planet’. As she attempts to achieve her goal she encounters many problems in which she sluts her way through. Nevertheless, implying the sexual frustrations or enlightenment of the 60’s culture. Finally, ending with the destruction of stereotypical mad scientist - not before Barbarella breaks the scientists torture machine the ‘Orgasmatron’ apt considering it’s ability strips Jane Fonda of her cloths whilst pleasuring her to supposedly torture.
Disappointingly the movie appears to ‘spends more time on the art direction, the costuming and the psychedelic music track than the plot (though it took seven credited writers to script Barbarella, including Terry Southern).’ – Kim Newman. The plot felt ridiculously lost at time not to mention going off at more tangents than ‘Spaghetti junction’. Making the movie feel more infatuated with stripping the female lead every five minutes and that sex is the solution to all life problems. Interestingly, inviting the ideology of the 60’s to the viewer. This can be demonstrated in the casualness of the invite for sex from the hunter and the simple reply of ‘If You Insist’. Without a shadow of doubt the film is iconic not for its era and not necessary for the storyline engaged with what can be considered the start of super soft porn.
As an environmental element ‘Barbarella’ to me resembles the era also. With a fur covered interior of a spacecraft and bright colours and dynamic scenery of the planet. In a sense `Barbarella'' is a pure goof -- Vadim called it ``a kind of sexual Alice in Wonderland of the future'' - Edward Guthmann. Not to mention feeling and looking like the stage crew have been on some drug like the author of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Without doubt, ‘The rest has the effect of a bit of cosmically spiteful chaos in an interior decorator's salon, space, or a cosmetics factory.’ - Renata Alder. The vast changes between scenes show the true potential of the set team exploring the elements and using artistic license to perceive the future. I.e. the idea of the pure the unfortunate ones being left in the labyrinth to become part of the walls, part of the environment (although sexual scenes of people in the wall caressing each other’s body) - possibly implicating were Cameron got his philosophical message for Avatar. Other scenes, such as in the City has a completely different tone displaying a more metallic look with bright colourful shields or barrier which we immediately fixate with the 60’s era and idea of radicalism with vibrant colours. Other typical set designs are the use of liquid to demonstrate elements such as space, the entering of the magnetic field into the planet and the liquid which supplies the power to the planet. In all respects it reminds me of nothing more of a lava lamp applying to that psychedelic feel and theme of the time. Without doubt making the imagery very much the key interested when watching Barbarella (obvious when it interpreted in a uni-sex perspective)
In conclusion, Barbarella is inspirational for the conducting of imaginative and vibrant sets not to mention putting forward the idea of intertwining the weak with the environment. This makes Barbarella a resource for many films present today. Not to mention showing us the initiative for creativity and metaphorical representation. Barbarella is still a must watch for this very reason and yet for any male it is a must watch as youthful Jane Fonda strips at every turn.