Ira Cohen – The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda [+Extras] (1968)

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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.” Continue reading