Roger Vadim
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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lanciò e sposò tre sex-symbol degli anni Sessanta: Brigitte Bardot (Et Dieu Créa la Femme, 1956), Catherine Deneuve (Le Vice et la Vertu, 1962), Jane Fonda (La Curée, 1966, Barbarella, 1968),

Barbarella (1968), based on Jean-Claude Forest's comic book series, invented a new genre, erotic sci-fi cinema. But the visual effects are no less innovative than the campy plot.

Barbarella is naked when her president appears to her on the wall to tell her that mad scientist Durand Durand has escaped after inventing a weapon. The universe has been peaceful for centuries. The president does not have police or army, so he relies on special agent Barbarella to find Durand Durand and thwart his plans. Armed with a portable brainwave detector and a weapon borrowed from a museum, and barely dressed, and accompanied by the talkative on-board robot, the sexy Barbarella sets out on her starship to find the scientist. She lands (or, better, crashes) on another planet. As she ventures into the icy lake-like landscape, she is captured by vicious little children who take her to her base, where she is tied up and offered to an army of dolls with sharp teeth. She is saved by a hunter who captures the children with a net and treats them like beasts. He drives her in his fantastic machine to his Barbarella is grateful, and he asks her for sex. She is embarrassed because it is an old-fashioned habit not used by humans for centuries: on Earth people now simply take a pill to feel pleasure. He undresses (showing his very hairy chest) and introduces her to the old-fashioned system. At the end she is ecstatic. She returns to her ship with a morbid smile, but the ship crashes again. She is rescued by a blind young man with wings, Pygar, who does not know how to fly. He leads her into a labyrinth in which zombie-like people walk slowly or petrified. She meets another scientist, Ping, who explains that above them is the city of evil, while the labyrinth hosts the good people. Ping tells her that Durand Durand is in the city of evil and offers to help her enter it. To thank Pygar who saved her life, she initiates him to old-fashioned sex. Not only she has another ecstatic experience, but he learns to fly. He takes her by sky to the evil city, despite being attacked by deadly robots. They fall into a sort of palace, where she is surrounded by more zombie-like people. Two men corner her, possibly to rape her, and she is saved by a woman, another sexy vixen. It turns out this one is the "Great Tyrant" of the evil city, that feeds on an underground fluid called "Matmos". They have tied up Pygar. Barbarella tries to take the Great Tyrant hostage with her old weapon but is easily disarmed. The Great Tyrant tries to make love to Pygar but he refuses. Barbarella is then fed to some voracious birds. She is rescued by Dildano, head of the resistance. Again, she would like to thank him by having sex, but he wants to show that he is a civilized man, so he prefers to do it with the pills, which greatly disappoints Barbarella. Dildano wants to capture the Black Queen (aka the Great Tyrant), Barbarella wants Durand Durand: they join forces, i.e. use Barbarella's spaceship (that Ping has repaired) and a key to the Black Queen's chamber that Dildano has obtained. The chamber of the queen is surrounded by an invisible wall: naturally, the key is an invisible key. Dildano uses a machine to shoot her into the queen's palace. She witnesses scenes of decadent pleasure, but is arrested again. This time she is inserted in a harpsichord-like instrument whose keys tickle her intimate parts causing her an orgasm. Instead of killing Barbarella, the torture instrument can't keep up with her and blows up. Barbarella notices that the portable brainwave detector is going crazy: the person who was playing the instrument is Durand Durand. Durand Durand is in love with the evil of that planet. He needs to kill the queen in order to use his weapon and seize power. Barbarella offers help in exchange for her life. The delirious Durand Durand betrays her, steals the invisible key and locks her into the chamber so that the Matmos can destroy her. The chamber is populated by giant revolving transparent bubbles. Barbarella wanders inside the psychedelic "trip" of the queen. When the queen finally awakes, Barbarella warns her that Durand Durand has the key and wants to destroy her. The queen turns on a camera that shows Durand Durand crowning himself king and Dildano's men using Barbarella's weapons to stage a revolt. Desperate, Durand Durand unleashes his weapon of mass destruction. In retaliation the queen unleashes her own weapon of mass destruction: the Matmos. Durand Durand is indeed destroyed by the Matmos, but Barbarella and the Black Queen are saved by a bubble that the Matmos itself created to protect her innocence. The two women are vomited out of the city, and land near Pygar. Pygar flies Barbarella and the Black Queen to Barbarella's spaceship.
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