Barbarella

barbarella

Barbarella‘ is a 1968 science fiction film based on the French comics of the same name by Jean-Claude Forest. The film was directed by Roger Vadim and stars Jane Fonda, who was married to Vadim at the time.

In an unspecified future, Barbarella is assigned by the President of Earth to retrieve Doctor Durand-Durand from the planet Tau Ceti in order to save the world. Durand-Durand is the inventor a new weapon, the Positronic Ray.

Barbarella is noted for a sequence in which the title character undresses in zero gravity during the opening credits. The whole film is played in a tongue-in-cheek manner; especially when it comes to the frequent (but not explicit) sex scenes. The most controversial of those scenes involves Barbarella being tortured by the use of an organ-like instrument that delivers sexual pleasure in doses that can be lethal, although Barbarella survives the ordeal and is visibly disappointed when it is discovered she has overloaded the machine.

The songs in the film were written by Bob Crewe and Charles Fox. Stylistically, the sound brought together a lounge music aesthetic with psychedelic pop. Bob Crewe himself provided the vocal for the memorable film closer ‘An Angel Is Love,’ and several songs were performed by ‘The Glitterhouse,’ a New York-based psychedelic pop group that was produced by Crewe and recorded for his DynoVoice label.

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