Ira Cohen’s psychedelic masterpiece“The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda,” will see release on June 1 thanks to Arthur Magazine. “The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda” will be a full Directors cut DVD with commentary by Ira Cohen, an alternative soundtrack by sunburned hand of the man, and a film short compiled from unused footage from Invasion.
The NYT provides some background of the film:
“In 1961 Mr. Cohen built a room in his New York loft lined with large
panels of Mylar plastic, a sort of bendable mirror that causes images
to crackle and swirl in hypnotic, sometimes beautiful patterns. After
a few years experimenting with the technique in photographs, he
invited his friends from the downtown scene — like Beverly Grant, Vali
Myers and Tony Conrad — to make a film.
The finished product sets languid images of opium smokers (in
fantastic makeup and costumes) against a droning, chanting,
tabla-beating soundtrack by Angus MacLise, the original drummer of the
Velvet Underground. Xavier Garcia Bardon, film curator at the Palais
des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, said the film is an important artifact of
For more information head over to Arthur Magazine, for now you can catch a preview of the restored film on youtube: