Free Movie Review On “The Barbarella”, 1968
The History of the World Cinematography knows many films that are surely considered to be real breakthroughs in their kind and, of course, in terms of the particular time period, they were filmed in. This characteristic may be defined by various aspects, such as, historical background, social background, the main message, which an author is trying to send to the viewer etc. Still, the most such breakthroughs we may identify in the time period, starting from the 1960th till the late 1970th. It is a time of an appearance of special effects in the movies. Also, it is a time, when different controversial messages were brought up to the society, as it was desirable by it, calling “revolution”, whether it is sexual, cultural or any other.
Such great example of an absolutely new movie, which has appeared in the 1960th, is the French-Italian science fiction film, made in the 1968. It is a movie, where the main heroine is travelling across the Universe, sharing love to all races and civilizations, while trying to find a scientist from Earth, Doctor Durand Durand. Everything seems fine and innocent till this moment. But, the main point is that here, in this movie, the scientific elements are tightly connected with an erotic context with many “hidden” love scenes (Roger Vadim. Barbarella). What is the most important to mention about this interesting fact, is that such erotic context was quite brave for those times, even back in the late 1960th . This is one of those many aspects, why this particular movie remains in memories of many viewers till nowadays and why this science-fictional film still keeps its positions in many movie rating’s lists.
Still, this movie should be discussed in terms of such main aspects, as: the “mise en scène” (en. mise-en-scene), level of actor’s play, the movie decoration and, of course, general effect on the viewer. These main points will help to look on this movie in a more detailed way, looking deeply inside of it. All of this will also help to get know more about this film from different perspectives.
So, starting with the “mise en scène” (en. mise-en-scene), it is important to define this term first. The “mise en scène” consists of a montage, dramatic value, the usage of supportive music and others aspects all together. What about this particular movie – here the supportive music was accurately picked and put in the right scenes. It is well-known fact that the supporting music is usually used for the emotional straightening of some particular scene. It is usually used to emphasize some particular moment in the scene. Such great example of it may be a scene, when the main heroine has got trapped by kids in the cave and was bitten by those scary little dolls – robots with sharp teeth (Roger Vadim. Barbarella). Here music was getting more and more intense, as those dolls were getting closer to Barbarella and then biting her, while kids were laughing. Then the music was getting softer and higher in a tonality as she was rescued from them (Roger Vadim. Barbarella).
Also, here, in this movie, the montage was perfectly done, as to look on it from the perspective of the late 1960th. Mainly it was reached by the usage of the variety of special effects, starting from laser guns to the flying scenes of Barbarella and the blind angel Pygar (Roger Vadim. Barbarella). Nowadays, all those flying scenes seem to be primitive and funny, at some point, but for those times – this was a real achievement in the cinematography, indeed. What is also important to mention is that wings of the blind angel Pygar were made quite realistically and this costume element deserves another compliment for all those people from the movie crew, who have worked on it (Roger Vadim. Barbarella).
Talking about the movie decorations in general, it is unacceptable to omit that fact that they were also created realistically, creatively and extraordinary, even for nowadays cinematography. Here the viewer may surely notice the right decision of colors and forms, in the relation to the Universe theme. Roger’s decision to bring this movie out of the stable frames of typical and usual decorations has played its successful role. Again, going back to the flying scene with the Barbarella and the blind angel Pygar the viewer cannot let out of his or hers view those bright and realistic warm colors of the sky - red, pink, dark yellow, orange – these are all the right colors and their shades to create the right sunset sky (Roger Vadim. Barbarella). Again, this shows a great professionalism of those people, who worked on these decorations.
Talking about brave decisions, it also should be mentioned such important and irreplaceable visual movie element as costumes. Keeping in mind that this science-fictional film has erotic context, it is expectable to see some open costumes. Still, even if this movie was shot in the 1968, there was one scene with an apparent sexual context. It is a scene in the location, where Barbarella meets The Great Tyrant, Black Queen of Sogo. Some girls are hanged by their hands to the ceiling and their legs are captures by ropes to the floor. One of them has absolutely naked breast (Roger Vadim. Barbarella). Again, it says about film’s free innovative idea.
Generally speaking, this movie was shot quite professionally. The main point is in its brave and controversial message, which was sent onto the viewer, concerning its erotic context. This was a real breakthrough and innovative idea to start a new era of cinematography – freer and all-embracing, absolutely new for the society of that time period – the late 1960th.
All of the above mentioned made this science-fictional film remain in the memory of so many people all around the world till our days.
Barbarella. Dir. Roger Vadim. Perf. Jane Fonda, Ugo Tognazzi, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O'Shea, Marcel Marceau and Claude Dauphin. Paramount Pictures. 1968. Film.