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Barbarella, an iconic 1968 movie, is a captivating blend of science fiction and erotica that showcases the quintessence of 60s counterculture. The film, directed by Roger Vadim, stars Hollywood's queen of the silver screen, Jane Fonda, alongside John Phillip Law and Anita Pallenberg. Much more than a kaleidoscope of vibrant visuals and kitschy aesthetics, Barbarella represents a compelling depiction of sexual liberation and comic strip-inspired escapism.

The film is based on Jean-Claude Forest’s comic series "Barbarella." It is set in the 41st century, where war and violence are ancient relics of the past, and the Earth is ruled by a peacefully unified government. Leading this intriguing narrative is the sultry, stylish, and fearless space adventurer, Barbarella, portrayed by Jane Fonda. Riding through the galaxy in her fur-lined spaceship, Barbarella is a representative of Earth mandated to maintain harmony and restore peace in the cosmos.

The film unfolds with Barbarella receiving orders from the President of Earth (Claude Dauphin) to track down and retrieve the nefarious scientist Durand Durand, portrayed by Milo O'Shea. Durand Durand has invented a potent weapon called the Positronic Ray that threatens to disrupt the peaceful order in the universe, a concept that is deemed archaic and outrageous in Barbarella's realm.

As Jane Fonda embarks on this journey, she encounters a vibrant ensemble of characters that effectively complement the film's unique narrative. Among these are the angelic Pygar, an ornithanthrope with impressive wings but a wavering morale, portrayed by John Phillip Law, and the menacing and mesmerizing Black Queen of Sogo, wickedly brought to life by Anita Pallenberg. Each individual's intricate relationships and nuanced dialogue with Barbarella help configure the distinct layers of the movie that range from campy humor to profound introspection.

Barbarella's adventures take her through diverse landscapes teeming with seduction, danger, and peculiar practices. These wonderfully absurd and extravagantly varied settings are part of the film's remarkable aesthetic charm. From the labyrinthine city of Sogo, where sin dwells in stunningly lit streets, to the icy terrains fraught with perilous traps – Barbarella maneuvers through it all with spirit and sensuality.

Throughout the film, Jane Fonda's Barbarella emerges as a symbol of uninhibited feminine sensuality and sexual freedom. She absorbs and reflects the sexual revolution of the time, adding to the film's appeal. In fact, the film's approach to sex and sensuality is quite distinct. Barbarella's intergalactic encounters often lead to erotic adventures, yet these instances are dealt with humorously, keeping the tone light and playful.

Director Roger Vadim, known for his fascination with sensuality, imbues his unique stylistic touch throughout the movie. The film is artistically adorned with surreal visuals enhanced by vibrant costumes, psychedelic art design, and innovative special effects. Jane Fonda’s charm, sass, and allure embody the audacious spirit of the title character. The digitally composed score from Bob Crewe and Charles Fox adds an enjoyable layer of audio stimulation, giving the film an unforgettable signature sound allied to the psychedelic visuals.

Barbarella is more than just a cinematic spectacle; it also serves as a social commentary in disguise. It tastefully explores themes of love, peace, freedom, and sexual liberation, while also critiquing power dynamics and the threat of destructive technology. Underneath its futuristic facade and audacious narrative, the film reveals a stark questioning of where humanity could be headed.

Consistently engaging, Barbarella is a cinematic extravaganza that perfectly encapsulates an era. It unabashedly embraces its weirdness, creating a world that is as captivating as it is absurd. From suggestive innuendos and extravagant settings to an unforgettable plot, this film has plenty to offer anyone seeking a wild, memorable journey through the cosmos of the late 60s' psyche.

In summary, Barbarella stands as a quintessential cultural artifact from the 1960s, preserving for times immemorial, the decade’s flirtations with eroticism, futurism, and humor. It is a true spectacle that spans beyond its cinematic appeal, providing a window into the unique sociocultural fabric of the era.

Barbarella is a Science Fiction, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy movie released in 1968. It has a runtime of 98 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.9. It also holds a MetaScore of 51.

How to Watch Barbarella

Where can I stream Barbarella movie online? Barbarella is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Pluto TV, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Barbarella for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Roger Vadim
Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg
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