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May 3, 2011

"The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda" — Ira Cohen (February 3, 1935—April 25, 2011)

Wrote Douglas Martin in yesterday's New York Times obituary of Cohen, "In the late 1960s, he... perfected his technique of photographing reflections on the surface of a polyester film with the trade name Mylar. Jimi Hendrix, of whom Mr. Cohen made a famous picture, likened the effect to "looking through butterfly wings."

"In 1968, Mr. Cohen made a 20-minute film using the Mylar technique, "The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda" [excerpts above and below] which has steadily risen in popularity. The original drummer of the Velvet Underground, Angus MacLise, improvised the score, a smorgasbord of Tibetan, Moroccan and Druidic trance music. A Village Voice reviewer said one left the film "perched full-lotus on a cloud of incense, chatting with a white rabbit and smoking a banana."

Interview with Cohen here.


May 3, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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