Barbarella begins in the fur-lined cockpit of a space-faring starcraft, fabulously appointed with a statue of a moon goddess and, inexplicably, what looks to be a full-sized replica of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte. Despite the high-flown frivolity of its conception and the infectiously groovy theme song, this tableau does not represent the most quintessentially with-it of all possible sci-fi worlds. That changes when the astronaut who has floated into view starts pulling off the different panels of her moon-suit to reveal, underneath the shapeless layers of scuba-like gear, a naked strawberry-blonde with slender, delicate fingers and legs that don’t quit.

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