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James Fox , Mick Jagger , Donald Cammell , Nicolas Roeg    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 28.04
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This extraordinary 1970 British film marked the directorial debut of cinematographer Nicolas Roeg (working with Donald Cammell). James Fox portrays a London gangster who has to hide away for awhile and ends up staying with a fading rock star (Mick Jagger). The latter recognizes something of his old, daring self in the violent criminal, and after pushing open the boundaries of the hood's experience with psychedelics, the two men begin to intertwine as one. The film is an exciting pool of ideas about real and presumed power, about the mysteries of "performance" as a pressing outward toward an abandonment of identity and embrace of revelation. Beneath it all, however, is Roeg and Cammell's suspicion that the worlds of these two men--pop shaman and underworld soldier--are not dissimilar in their self-serving goals. --Tom Keogh

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing Oct. 12 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Filmed in 1968 and held back for two years, this was as much of its time as 'A Clockwork Orange', and is just as dazzlingly odd today. A mixture of realistic, violent gangster film and psychedlic exploration, it's neither particularly nostalgic for the 60s, nor very hopeful for the coming 70s. Mick Jagger, in his one good role, plays himself, and James Fox is as detatched as ever - he was so affected by the filming, he retired from the motion picture industry for almost a decade. Co-directed by Donald Cammell and Nicholas Roeg, the influence of the latter is shown clearly in the odd editing - jump-cuts and strange, disjointed switches of perspective abound. The soundtrack is fantastic, too, featuring a strange mixture of ambient electronics, easy listening, and blues. It's a shame it isn't on DVD, really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so cult film with a few great scenes June 18 2002
By Ingalls
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of those films that is so odd and disjointed (it was, reportedly, edited down from three hours), So full of psychedelic blurring of what is usually separate and distinct that you either love it or yawn. I tended to find it a bit of a pretentious bore except for a few great scenes. The scene that is unforgettable is Jagger singing "Memo to Turner" out of sync with the record. The effect is disorienting and fascinating.
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Format:VHS Tape
Donald Cammell
"If Performance does not upset audiences," he explained, "then it is nothing."
My friend Neil and I have been waiting for some time to see this film at the cinema. It hasn't been widely available on video for some time and has not yet been released on DVD.
So we were overjoyed to see it was being shown at the Electric Cinema a wonderful recently revamped cinema in Notting Hill Gate, not a hundred yards from Powis Square, one of the main locations in the film.
Performance was financed by Warner Brothers in the late 60's, though it was not released for two years after its completion due to WB demanding recuts and probably hoping the whole sordid little film would be forgotten about.
Thankfully it wasn't, and has over the years become something important and special to many people.
Performance starts as a seemingly straightforward East end gangster film, typical of the period. However when Chas, played to perfection by James Fox, takes refuge in the bohemian lair that is Turners (Jagger) Powis Square townhouse, the pace and the feel of the film change dramatically.
Turner is a retired rock icon who is wallowing in in a filthy corner of his psyche while he decides whether to try and recapture his mojo or continue his hermit like existence. However the hermit tag only applies to Turners lack of contact with fresh air, not many hermits have two pretty free spirits in the form of Pherber (Anita Pallenberg ) and Lucy (Michele Breton) roaming naked around their self imposed prisons.
Pallenberg is the wild blonde who was probably didn't find it too hard to get into character, at the time of filming she was actually Keith Richards's girlfriend, and tales of a jealous Richards watching over the set are abound.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" Dec 23 2003
Format:VHS Tape
"Performance"(1970) directed by both Nicolas Roeg and Donald Camell and starring Mick Jagger and James Fox, is a film that is directed to a certain group of people and taste and treated as a cult classic. Chances are you've discovered this film because you are one of those people and you'll probably dig it. I saw this film because I am a big Rolling Stones fan and of the 60's and wanted to see Mick Jagger and to tell you the truth, I was not expecting much. "Performance" is a great film for what it is, an experimental film dealing with the clash of two worlds in a nonlinear format. In the beginning of the film, I thought it was just being weird for the sake of being weird but once I started to accept it and let it unravel, I thought it was a great film. James Fox does a great performance and Mick Jagger too but his just playing himself. The film has a lot of interesting shots and scenes which really stick with you. At the end of the film, my psyche had changed and I felt like I was in a different state of consciousness. I would really like to see "Performance" restored on to DVD because the sound quality on video is awful and makes it even harder to understand the thick Cockney accents. All and all, "Performance" has its errors but is a great snapshot into the culture and general feeling of the 60's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must everything be explained? Oct. 10 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I found this movie after watching some special films like "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and "Mulholland Drive" that made me hungry for something different in a movie. In fact, I rented "Performance" after following Amazon's chain of "people who bought this movie also bought this movie", and it is now on my best of the best list. What a stunning film it is. Sometimes, we struggle too hard to explain things. "Performance" should be experienced, not explained. Watching this film is like having a dream, and, like a dream, it won't make much sense when you awaken from it. But the images from it and the feelings they inspire will haunt you. I was about to write here about some examples, but I'll just give one - a Jim Morrison poster on the wall entitled "It's Over". Perhaps the movie is about the death throes of 60's idealism? I'm sure that in part it is, and that different people will have different interpretations. Did you have a dream last week? What did it mean?
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wow!!!!!!
excellent movie. mick jagger generated all the attention but james fox steals the film. this cammell and roeg film has aged very well.
Published on April 16 2009 by Daniel Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars The Film That Explains The Legend Of The Rolling Stones
This is one film where the legend does not obscure the brilliance of the plot, the direction of the scenes, and the players.... Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2002 by Richard R. Carlton
5.0 out of 5 stars you forgot to call your agent
why the criterion collection hasn't put this to dvd is less obvious than the overwhelming need to see roeg's first film. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2002 by aja
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, so-so recording
This film has haunted me for a generation, and I'm delighted to finally own a copy, though the copy is not the best quality. Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2002 by Harrington V. Ingham
4.0 out of 5 stars A decadent thrill or two
The film is really as schizophrenic as the story line. That is in part due to the fact that it was directed by two directors. Read more
Published on June 24 2002 by Doug Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Don't Like Music": Who's That Fox in the Window?
This unapologetic exploration of film's boundaries is not only in my Top Ten list, it vies with "Last Tango in Paris" as being one of the most intriguing films about... Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2002 by Alan J Prescott
5.0 out of 5 stars Jagger Turns Film Star
This is the best, though not the most accessable, film that Jagger was ever involved with. Every piece of the film is filled with legend, both cinematic, musical, and biographical. Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2001 by W. T. Hoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars Correction
Thank you for publishing my review
Please note: the last line of my review should read 'taut' and not 'taught'!
Published on May 22 2001 by chris.webb0@tinyworld.co.uk
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, disturbing and challenging cinema
A disturbing, fascinating and notoriously difficult piece of cinema. It is frequently referred to by some critics as a great British gangster movie along with 'Get Carter' or... Read more
Published on May 18 2001 by chris.webb0@tinyworld.co.uk
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