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Performance

Performance(1970)

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  • Perhaps the best British film ever made

    • Camilla
    • 5/2/14

    It's been called the most brilliant British film ever made. People who love this film are often fanatical devotees. Donald Cammell was the genius behind its deeply compelling psycho-sexual message. Nic Roeg made it beautiful. Frank Mazzola and Cammell's editing helped to make it mind-blowing.The film should be watched at least twice at first sitting, because of the denseness and complexity of the intertwining aspects of the film. Each time you see Performance there are new things to uncover. A classic in every sense of the word: please make Performance, directed by Donnald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg a part of your Criterion collection.

  • Give Mick credit.

    • MemoFromTurner
    • 9/11/12

    This movie was English and I wasn't there at the time, but it sure did capture the essence of the counterculture. The scene where the two guys bring Turner a painting to sell and he takes the frame but not the picture is one of many which play on the inverted values of the time. (At the end we see his body stashed in a basement closet full of empty picture frames.) Mick tried acting only sporadically over the years, but this was fine work by any standards. His mixture of worldliness and curiosity for the occult/spiritual is exactly right for the character of Turner and helps make this such a memorable film. It's a great example of role and actor fusing into an entity which is both and neither, a fiction brought to stunning life.

  • A "youth" movie like no other.

    • Dougie B
    • 3/13/09

    I don't think this film set out to capture the spirit of its time, but it certainly did. Compared to transparent efforts like Wild In The Streets or The Trip, this one is Citizen Kane. The fact that it was shot in 1968, then shelved by the distributor until 1970, makes it all the more remarkable for its insight into a culture that was still emerging. Like Citizen Kane, it concerns a public figure who has retreated into an insular world, but any real similarity ends there. The London townhouse of a reclusive former rock star is infiltrated by a fugitive gangster who has made a career of "putting the frighteners on flash little twerps" for a mob boss who now wants him eliminated. Now face-to-face with a drug-infused, pansexual lifestyle way outside his realm of experience, he tries to adapt, while simultaneously planning his escape. In need of a passport photo, he allows himself to be made over by the ultimate "flash little twerp", Turner, and his female housemates and the question of identity begins to snowball from there. Turner has lost his "demon" and wants a gander at Chas's, hoping it will help place himself, and Chas, in the proper perspective. An offer of mushrooms to the unsuspecting Chas seriously ups the stakes, so that when Chas's betrayal by a friend he thought he could trust almost certainly will put him back in the hands of his former boss, Chas betrays Turner in similar fashion. Turner has his glimpse of the demon again, but pays for it with his life. This bare-bones recounting in no way reflects the intricacy of the dance these people all do around questions of identity, gender and fate. Remarkable and intelligent in almost every way. At one time I considered this my favorite film of all time. Now that I've aged and the film has aged, I no longer would say that, but for me it still has resonances that few movies have.

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