Set in 1960s London, James Fox plays Chas, a bisexual gangster on the run from his colleagues who is trying to disguise himself so that he can slip out of England. Chas finds a vast Notting Hill townhouse occupied by burned-out ex-pop-star Turner (Mick Jagger) and his lovers Pherber (Anita Pallenberg) and Lucy (Michele Brèton). Turner has become a hermit living in his own little world of art, sex, music, and drugs. When Turner meets Chas he immediately recognizes something of his younger daring self in the persona of the violent gangster. Turner embarks on a plan of mental seduction to absorb Chas’s identity into his own by covertly poisoning Chas with drugs, sex and rock and roll. The longer Chas and Turner are together the more they begin to blend. At this point the storyline becomes concerned with the disintegration of Chas perceptions about himself and his world. As the identities of the two men become blurred the film becomes an assault of jump-cuts, point-of-view shifts, visual effects, elliptical editing and seamless changes between fantasy and reality. —Spinningimage.co.uk
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
London-born Nicolas Roeg served in the military as a projectionist, and entered the movie industry immediately after World War II as a gofer and apprentice editor. He joined MGM’s British studios in 1950, and eventually became a cinematographer in 1959, working on a multitude of films of all types, from second unit work on Lawrence of Arabia (1962) to primary photography on the rock & roll exploitation films Just for Fun (1963), Every Day’s a Holiday (1965), and The System (1966). He moved into the director’s chair with Performance (1970), which he co-directed with Donald Cammell, and made a major impression with the low-keyed, eerily compelling drama Walkabout (1971). By the mid-‘70s, Roeg was one of England’s most respected filmmakers, responsible for the unsettling thriller Don’t Look Now (1973), and the sci-fi drama The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). With the possible exception Insignificance (1985) and the compellingly obscure Track 29 (1988) Roeg’s output throughout the 1980s… read more