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Barbarella

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“Barbarella” is a science fiction film of 1968 directed by the French director Roger Vadim, based on the comic of the same name created by Jean-Claude Forest. The film stars Jane Fonda as Barbarella, an Earth Government agent who is sent on a mission to find the evil Dr. Durand Durand.

The film is famous for its psychedelic style and implied sex scenes, which were considered very racy at the time. Furthermore, Barbarella was one of the first representations of a strong and independent woman in science fiction films.

The soundtrack to the film was composed by Michel Magne and features songs such as “Barbarella” by The Glitterhouse and “An Angel Is Love” by Bob Crewe and Charles Fox.

While initial reviews of the film were mixed, ‘Barbarella’ has become a cult film over the years, thanks to its unique aesthetic and Jane Fonda’s performance. The film has also influenced popular culture, with references in numerous later works in science fiction and other genres.

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Plot

Barbarella

The plot of “Barbarella” follows the adventures of space agent Barbarella (played by Jane Fonda), who is sent on a mission to find the evil Dr. Durand Durand (played by Milo O’Shea), a scientific genius who has created a capable of destroying the entire universe.

Barbarella arrives on the planet Tau Ceti, where she meets a number of strange and bizarre characters, including Pygar (played by John Phillip Law), a winged angel who has lost the ability to fly. Together, Barbarella and Pygar try to find Durand Durand and stop his weapon.

During their adventure, Barbarella is captured by the inhabitants of the planet, is tortured, meets a sadomasochistic queen, faces alien creatures and overcomes other dangerous challenges. However, thanks to his cunning and inner strength, Barbarella manages to survive and get to Durand Durand’s base.

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Movie Characters

Barbarella

Here are some of the main characters of “Barbarella”:

Barbarella: played by Jane Fonda, she is the space agent sent on a mission to find Dr. Durand Durand and stop his weapon.

Doctor Durand Durand: played by Milo O’Shea, he is a scientific genius who has created a weapon capable of destroying the universe.

Pygar: played by John Phillip Law, he is a winged angel who has lost the ability to fly. He joins Barbarella in his mission.

Queen of Sogo: played by Anita Pallenberg, she is the queen of a planet where Barbarella is captured and tortured.

Great Tyranno: played by Marcel Marceau, he is a mute and evil character who lives on an asteroid and commands an army of alien creatures.

Dildano: played by David Hemmings, he is a revolutionary who helps Barbarella in his mission.

Professor Ping: played by Ugo Tognazzi, he is a technology expert who helps Barbarella find Durand Durand.

President of Earth: played by Claude Dauphin, he is the head of the Earth government who sends Barbarella on a mission.

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Production

Barbarella

The film “Barbarella” was directed by French director Roger Vadim, with the screenplay written by Vadim, Terry Southern and Claude Brulé. The film is based on the comic of the same name created by Jean-Claude Forest.

The production of the film was entrusted to Dino De Laurentiis Cinematografica and its realization was financed by an international consortium of producers, including Paramount Pictures and Marianne Productions.

The shooting of the film was done mainly in the Cinecittà studios in Rome, Italy. Other places were also used, including the natural parks of Lazio, the beaches of Sardinia and the mountains of the Maritime Alps.

The soundtrack to the film was composed by Michel Magne and features songs such as “Barbarella” by The Glitterhouse and “An Angel Is Love” by Bob Crewe and Charles Fox.

The production of “Barbarella” encountered several difficulties, including budgetary and censorship problems. The film was cut in some countries, especially in the United States, where some of the sex and violence scenes were changed or removed to make them more acceptable for the audience. However, despite these problems, the film has become acult movie over the years and has had a lasting impact on popular culture.

Distribution and Reception

The movie ‘Barbarella’ was released in theaters in 1968. Its release ran into some difficulties, due to its provocative nature and explicit sexual content. However, despite this, the film has gained a cult following over the years and continues to be appreciated for its psychedelic aesthetic, humor and imagination.

Critics of the time were very divided on Roger Vadim’s work. Some critics praised the film for its originality and Jane Fonda’s performance, while others criticized it for its flimsy plot and kitschy style.

Despite mixed reviews, the film was a box office success, earning more than $9 million worldwide. In particular, the film was very popular in Europe and Japan, where it became a cult movie.

Over the years, “Barbarella” has become an icon of popular culture, inspiring artists, fashion designers, musicians and filmmakers. The character of Barbarella has become a symbol of female empowerment and sexual liberation, while the film itself has been seen as a celebration of fantasy and creativity.

Style

The style of “Barbarella” is very particular and reflects the historical period in which it was made. The film was produced in the late 1960s, at a time of great cultural and social turmoil, and this atmosphere is reflected in its aesthetics.

The film presents a psychedelic and colorful image, with futuristic and abstract settings. The scenarios were created with the use of complex sets, special effects and imaginative costumes. The film’s aesthetic is inspired by the hippie culture and fashion of Swinging London, with references to pop art and rock music.

The style of the film is also characterized by irreverent humor and a strong dose of eroticism. The film was one of the first to feature explicit sex scenes in cinemas, and this created a stir upon its release. However, this aspect of the film was positively received by audiences, and helped make it an icon of popular culture.

In general, the style of ‘Barbarella’ has been very influential and has inspired numerous other films and works of art. Its psychedelic image and humor have become symbols of the historical period in which it was produced, and have been reinterpreted in many other cinematic and artistic works.

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Director

Roger-Vadim

The director of “Barbarella” is Roger Vadim, one of the most influential French filmmakers of the 60s. Born in 1928, Vadim began working in the film industry in the 1950s, as a screenwriter and assistant director.

His career as a director began in 1956 with the film “And God Created Woman”, which launched the career of actress Brigitte Bardot and had great international success.

Vadim was known for his provocative and innovative style, which challenged the conventions of the society of the time. He has directed several successful films, including ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960’ and ‘La Ronde’, and has worked with some of the most famous stars in cinema, including Jane Fonda, Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot.

His work was influenced by the movement of French New Wave, which sought to revolutionize traditional cinema, and from 1960s American cinema, which experimented with new forms of storytelling and visual representation.

“Barbarella” was one of his most controversial and provocative films, and caused a sensation for its explicit sexual nature. However, the film also demonstrated Vadim’s talent as a director and as an innovator of cinematic style. With “Barbarella”, Vadim has created a unique and original work of art, which has had a lasting impact on popular culture.

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