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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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
This is one film where the legend does not obscure the brilliance of the plot, the direction of the scenes, and the players.... Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2002 by Richard R. Carlton
why the criterion collection hasn't put this to dvd is less obvious than the overwhelming need to see roeg's first film. Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2002 by aja
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 morePublished on Aug. 9 2002 by Harrington V. Ingham
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 morePublished on June 24 2002 by Doug Anderson
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 morePublished on Feb. 4 2002 by Alan J Prescott
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 morePublished on Nov. 9 2001 by W.T.Hoffman
Thank you for publishing my review
Please note: the last line of my review should read 'taut' and not 'taught'!