Barbarella psychedelia

barbarella“There’s a kind of cockle shell about you”. If you are familiar with this lyric, then you might also know “Entrance to Sogo“, which is what I was listening to this morning on my music player, in the bus; as part of my daily commute.  It was at this point that I remembered that this song was penned by Bob Crewe; who sadly departed us on September 11, 2014.

For those of you who don’t know who I am talking about, Bob or Stanley Robert Crewe was born in the U.S. 0n November 12, 1930. He was a singer, songwriter and record producer who co-wrote some famous 1960s-1970s songs such as “Walk Like a Man”, “My Eyes Adored You” and “Lady Marmalade,” to name but a few.

He and his band, “The Glitterhouse, had a huge hit with the soundtrack of the Roger Vadim directed movie Barbarella;  Starring Jane Fonda, and supported by Anita Pallenberg (The Black Queen of Sogo), David Hemmings (Dildano), Milo O’Shea (Durand Durand), John Philip Law (Pygar, the Angel) and even an appearance by French mime artist, Marcel Marceau.

This film; often described as a ‘schlock’ film; has escalated to “iconic status” amongst certain movie goers. Its origin stems from a French adult Sci-Fi comic originated in 1962 by Jean-Claude Forest. As a basic synopsis for Barbarella:

Barbarella (played by Fonda), tells of her first rescue by a ‘modern-day’ Earthling-type who enjoys  pleasure in the form of sex. Barbarella informs him that modern-day Earthlings no longer practice that form of love-making any more. Instead, they prefer the use of  ‘exaltation transference  pills’ where each person in a couple reaches  harmony within their psycho-cardiograms (by pressing palms together) and joining together in this way, they reach their orgasmic and cataclysmic high. (I think your hair stands on end at this  point). After this sequence, Barbarella gets herself into all kinds of weird and wonderful situations where various characters come to her rescue.

As the story draws to a close, the blind and winged angel, Pygar appears. He is the last of the ornillanthropes and for whatever reason, has lost the ability to fly.  The final destination is to Sogo, the city of night, as well as being a decadent city ruled by the “Great Tyrant” and powered by a liquid essence of Mathmos. Pygar (who can now fly) saves Barbarella and The Great Tyrant. Barbarella asks Pygar why he saved the evil Great Tyrant as well, Pygar simply replies “an angel has no memory”.

So the plot might be a bit “naff”‘, but the costumes are great and the soundtrack is even better. Thank you Bob Crewe – “I love all the love in you”.

Goodnight Alfie!

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