This weekend, the cosmos get a whole lot sexier.
Saturday June 6th at 9:30PM and midnight, the Cedar Lee theater is beaming down the 1968 French/Itlaian sci-fi classic Barbarella. Starring the stunning Jane Fonda as the titular adventuress and directed by her then husband Roger Vadim, Barbarella tells the story of a gorgeous outer space Earth agent, thousands of years in the future, sent by the President to retrieve mad scientist Durand-Durand (yep, like the band), who has created the positronic ray- a weapon of mass destruction. Of course there are some hiccups along the way, and Barbarella encounters a series of oddball characters and treacherous obstacles on her mission to prevent all-out interplanetary war.
But let’s not forget that this movie was made in the sixties. It’s borderline insane, but often an enjoyable acid trip through the sexual revolution- in space. Barbarella is literally flying in a pink spacecraft, lined with brown shag interior. Her many outfits are just as wild, racy, and impractical, but I’m not complaining; the film is a psychedelic window into an era before my time. The sets and special effects are pretty cheesy and dated, but nearly fifty years after the films release, it’s still an absolute blast to watch, and you can clearly see the influences that Barbarella had on modern cinema.
There’s something playfully misogynistic about Barbarella. Aside from the skimpy costumes she wears, Barbarella is repeatedly sexually objectified throughout the film, and it appears that she loves every second of it. After the amazing zero-g strip tease credits sequence, Barbarella is saved by a burly fur trapper who wants to be repaid by making love to her, although on the Earth she’s from, sex is the combination of taking a pill and pressing your palm against that of another person. But nevertheless, they do it the old fashioned way, and this happens at least two more times throughout the movie with other guys she bumps into. Even the big bad guy in the end straps her into a machine intended to orgasm her to death. It’s nothing too graphic, but probably wouldn’t pass for its PG rating nowadays.
But the sixties were different times, and despite all of the raunchy side plots throughout the movie, Barbarella is still a heroine worth rooting for. Fonda is not only beautiful but sweet and assertive, and in the end she saves the day- in the sexiest way possible. So if you’re in the mood for some late night retro sci-fi sex-ploits, hit up the Cedar Lee Saturday.