Billy Corgan unveiled a kaleidoscopic 40-minute silent film, Pillbox, featuring music from his new solo album, Ogilala. Corgan wrote the film and directed it alongside longtime collaborator Linda Strawberry.
Pillbox tells the story of a couple who are forced to part when the man heads overseas to war. The opening sequence boasts the simple black-and-white aesthetic of early cinema – complete with title cards – but after a barrage of harrowing newsreel footage, the wounded soldier finds himself in a psychedelic fantasyland where he parties with a bejeweled king and his subjects. But after insulting the king, the soldier is blinded,banished and forced to wander through a surreal landscape as he searches for redemption and tries to find his way home.
Corgan said of the short film, and its connection to Ogilala, “I thought it was a different approach to listening to an album, to watch it in essence with a related, albeit non-linear, silent movie. Art is art. And together the two pieces create a work unto itself.”
Pillbox stars Harry Holmes, Rai Quartley, Anna Steers, Kalpana Pot, Hardeep Manak, Los Angela, Paul Seroka, Amelya Hensley and Ike Catcher. The film previously received a limited theatrical run, screening in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Sydney.
Corgan released Ogilala in October. The Rick Rubin-produced record follows his 2005 solo album, TheFutureEmbrace, as well as the Smashing Pumpkins’ 2014 LP, Monuments to an Elegy.