The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda 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.
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The Invasion of Thunderbolt PagodaDirected byIra Cohen
White hippies trying to belong to a culture in which ritual would include them if only they tried very, very hard to be what they aren't. Angus Maclise's music is ferocious enough to create a new culture no-one can claim as ancestral except perhaps merzbow. The mylar and optical efx are gorgeously meaningless.
the perpetual tension imbued upon the film by MacLise's distorted, harrowing sort-of-raga really is the propulsive force that holds together this fascinating aesthetic treat. the imagery is complex and fascinating, containing more variety than would seem reasonable given the bare-bones "concept" of the piece.