This was my first exposure to Barbarella and I was surprised, confused and mostly entertained by it’s excessive camp and heightened sexuality. I’m still trying to process exactly what about this movie has kept it alive for so long. Jane Fonda really is the driving force and her presence is what kept me interested. I found the low budget, handmade quality of pretty much everything on the screen to be really fun and campy. The music is schlocky and great, and the special effects are working very hard to convince us they aren’t incredibly basic.
My favorite shot, Pygar’s golden thighs concealing her pistol, as Barbarella acts as a sexualized Mary Magdalene to his crucifixion.
Also loved –
Jane Fonda’s giant eyes slowly emerge from her space suit birthing, with Seurat’s painting hazily visible on the shag carpet covered walls.
Barbarella’s shock at the weapons sent to her, and the unexplained silver hand.
Her sexual awakening amongst the Catchman’s furs.
Pygar’s full wing span while being taunted and potentially murdered.
The Excessive Machine’s destruction by way of Barbarella’s sexual prowess.
Dr. Durand’s magnified exit.
And his maniacal hair, which reminded me a bit of Rotwang in Metropolis.
And Barbarella and the Black Queen saved in an egg.