“You mean they could still be living in a primitive state of neurotic irresponsibility?”
Dr. Durand Durand (Milo O’Shea) has invented a weapon called the positronic ray. The doctor has since disappeared. Earth’s leaders fear that the invention could fall into the wrong hands. The President of the Republic of Earth (Claude Dauphin) assigns the task of finding the inventor to Barbarella (Jane Fonda). Durand’s last known location was the Tau Ceti planetary system. This is an area that no one on Earth knows anything about. Barbarella heads for Tau Ceti.
Barbarella’s ship crash lands on the sixteenth planet of the Tau Ceti system. She is captured by a group of children that tie her up and set steel jawed dolls on her. The dolls begin biting her but the children are netted by the Catchman, Mark Hand (Ugo Tognazzi). His job is to round up children so they can be put to use. Hand rescues Barbarella and tells her that Durand is in the city of Sogo. She thanks him by having sex with him, the old fashioned way.
Back in her ship Barbarella ends up crashing again, this time into the labyrinth of the City of Night. It is a place where outcasts live. There she meets Pygar (John Phillip Law), a blind angel. He apparently has lost the will to fly until Barbarella restores it by having sex with him. Pygar agrees to fly her to Sogo. In Sogo they find a lot of weird shit.
“Barbarella” was released in 1968 and was directed by Roger Vadim. The movie is a science fiction film based on the comic “Barbarella” by Jean-Claude Forest. The movie is a sixties psychedelic space opera, and a silly sex romp full of double entendres. Barbarella is a naïve sweet space girl who manages to lose her clothes at every turn.
The plot is weak but that’s not the point of the movie anyway. The visuals are what make the film different from the normal lowbrow science fiction movie. Created firmly in the middle of the hippie movement, the cinematography is definitely of the tie-dyed variety and the movie seems to go well with various either mind altering drugs or even mind calming herbs.
During the sixties counterculture where make love not war was all the rage, Barbarella takes that concept into the future. Even though the film is a sexploitation film it also has elements that reflect the sexual revolution, the civil rights movement, the anti-nuclear movement, the resurgence of the feminist movement and even Gay liberation. All of it hidden in camp and sexual innuendos. Barbarella is well known by Baby Boomers. Of course it’s also just fun to watch.
The weightlessness scene during the opening credits showing Barbarella floating while doing her little strip tease was created by Vadim filming Fonda on a huge piece of Plexiglas with a picture of the spaceship underneath her. The camera filmed her from above giving the illusion that she was in zero gravity.
At the time the movie was made and released Jane Fonda and director Roger Vadim were married.
Dr. Ping was played by the famous French mime Marcel Marceau. His voice was dubbed by Robert Rietty.
Dildano's password, "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch", is the name of a real village in Wales, UK.
Reportedly, the name of the city called Sogo in the movie is a reference to the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.