THE INVASION OF THUNDERBOLT PAGODA DVD
Celebrated internationally for more than 35 years, Ira Cohen’s legendary 1968 film The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda is brought to you by ARTHUR as a fully restored director’s cut DVD. Featuring more than two hours of ritual hallucination and primordial sounds, Invasion is a psychedelic bullet to your third eye, made possible by Arthur Magazine in collaboration with The Ira Cohen Akashic Project and UNIVERSAL MUTANT.
Ira Cohen says: “It was in 1968, the year before Woodstock, between the giant bottle of liquid mercury Tony Conrad found in a doorway on 42nd St. and the Mylar chamber, we experienced a shared voyage conceived in three parts: The Opium Dream, Shaman and Heavenly Blue Mylar Pavilions, an alchemical journey born of out common consciousness — culminating in the akashic bindu drop swirling in the sky’s reflected azure. No minimalism here, but a maximalist adventure . . .”
* High-quality transfer from the original 16mm film, with color correction supervised by the director
* The legendary soundtrack, newly remastered by Tim Barnes, featuring The Universal Mutant Repertory Company (Loren Standlee, Ziska Baum, Angus MacLise, Hetty MacLise, Raja Samayana, Tony Conrad, Henry Flynt and Jackson MacLow)
* Two new, never-before-released alternative soundtracks to “Invasion” by Sunburned Hand of the Man and Acid Mothers Temple SWR (Tsuyama Altsushi, Yoshida Tatsuya and Kawabata Makoto)
* 16-page commemorative booklet featuring mylar photography and poetry by Ira Cohen and Angus MacLise, and critical texts by Ian Macfadyen and Allan Graubard
* “Brain Damage,” a new film directed by Ira Cohen and produced by Saturnalia created from never-before-seen original 16mm outtakes, featuring a new soundtrack composed by Will Swofford with the Expanded Instrument System
* “From The Mylar Chamber,” an original slideshow of 60 mylar photographs with soundtrack by Angus MacLise and original poetry by Ira Cohen.
* Director’s Commentary track by Ira Cohen
“Long, Strange Trip for a Hypnotic Film”: New York Times on the making of the film and DVD
“Underground film maker, poet, photographer and multimedia shaman Ira Cohen has finally realised his 1968 masterpiece on DVD.”–Edwin Pouncey in The Wire (Sept. 2006)
J. Hoberman in the Mar. 16, 2006 Village Voice: “Part ‘Dr. Strange,’ part ‘Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome,’ ['The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda' is] so High ’60s that you emerge from its 20-minute vision perched full-lotus on a cloud of incense, chatting with a white rabbit and smoking a banana…. ‘Invasion’ is a languidly opiated costume ball in which an assortment of masked and painted bohos, some sporting outsize elf ears, loll about a candlelit, Mylar-lined set, blowing soap bubbles and nibbling majoon. …In lieu of action, Cohen uses all manner of superimposition and prismatic image-splitting; his big effect, however, is the deliquescent Mylar reflection. What saves ‘Invasion’ from preciosity is the vague menace of Angus MacLise’s improvised pan-piping, tabla-tapping, creature-yipping score. Although this masterpiece of Tibetan-Moroccan-Druidic trance music was reissued on CD several years ago, it truly blossoms in conjunction with the exotic smorgasbord served at Cohen’s psychedelicatessen.”