Donald Seaton Cammell (17 January 1934 – 24 April 1996) was a Scottish film director who enjoys a cult reputation thanks to his debut film Performance, which he co-directed with Nicolas Roeg.
Cammell was born in the Camera Obscura (then known as Outlook Tower) on Castlehill, near the castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of the poet and writer Charles Richard Cammell. The older Cammell wrote a biography of Aleister Crowley focusing principally on the occultist’s poetry. Crowley, who lived near the Cammells for a time, knew the young Donald. A prodigy, he was a society portrait painter and thanks to family connections, a prominent fixture of the “swinging London” social scene of the 1960s, specifically of what became known as the “Chelsea Set.”
He wrote and co-directed Performance with Nicolas Roeg in 1968, though he didn’t get another film produced until Demon Seed in 1977. Cammell also made the eccentric horror thriller White of the Eye in 1987. Between infrequent film… read more