Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Barbarella review

Made in 1968 and directed by Roger Vadim, this film is very sexist and could be viewed like this for the entirety of the film with Jane Fonda scantily-clad for pretty much the whole thing. Or it could be viewed as being the stereotypical 1960's themes of love and peace. which Barbarella is set to spread among the stars.

The film is about Barbarella, who is sent on a mission to stop the evil Duran-Duran. But her spaceship crashes on a planet and Barbarella meets some strange and unusual characters along the way. There is a lot of sex being suggested that the audience doesn't see, which is probably just as well, IMDB saying 'the film is less concerned with creating a coherent storyline than it is in finding inventive ways to strip Fonda of her already skimpy outfits.'

The sets for this film were created entirely in sound stages, allowing the producers to invent and create whatever they wanted. Scenes such as in Barbarella's spaceship flying through space and the sleep chamber used kaleidoscope technology to give the impression of flying through space. While this is not an accurate representation, it does provide the audience with some amusement and bright visuals while watching Jane Fonda react against what is clearly a bluescreen. NYT had this to say 'For a while, the audience catching all the pointless, witless modernist allusions feels in on something chic, and laughs. Then it is clear that there is nothing whatever to be in on—except another uninspired omnispoof.' Film 4 however had this to say 'It's all pretty hokey of course, with Barbarella's flimsy outfits tumbling off at every opportunity and a whole bunch of ridiculously OTT damsel-in-peril sequences in which Fonda gets to battle razor-toothed dolls and assorted other enemies. But with its broad comedy, B-movie special effects and luminous star, it's also great fun.'
The abstractivity and different range of set designs add a lot of variety to this film, which should be viewed more for its visuals than its storyline. The wide shots of the labyrinth and the castle beyond are reminiscent of the film 'Labyrinth' and provide a good perspective of what Barbarella has to go through to achieve her task.

This film is good in the visual sense, but also very sexist in its storyline and main characters and the way in which she reacts with the other beings she meets.

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