A psychiatrist, living in Vienna, enters a torrid relationship with a married woman. When she ends up in the hospital from an overdose, an inspector becomes set on discovering the demise of their affair.
Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out. He finds the perfect cover in the form of guest house run by the mysterious Mr. Turner, a one-time rock superstar, who is looking for the right spark to rekindle his faded talent.Written by
Warner Bros removed around 20 minutes from the beginning of the film before the movie was submitted and the BBFC (under UK censor John Trevelyan) then made a further 16 cuts, most notably to the sexual clawing during the infamous flogging scene. The 1997 Maverick Directors video release featured the longer U.S print and restored all the BBFC cut footage. See more »
Reading the various comments posted, I'm saddened to see that Nic Roeg is receiving the credit for this amazing film. Granted, Roeg did provide his always stunning camera work to the film, but it was Donald Cammell who wrote, directed the actors, and edited (along with Frank Mazzola) PERFORMANCE.
Roeg acted as DP on the film, blocking the camera movements as Cammell worked with the actors. In fact, according to Cammell, they worked so well together that people would comment "...the two director approach is the wave of the future." Cammell also revealed that his admiration for Roeg's work was somewhat tempered by the fact that Roeg was often solely credited for PERFORMANCE, something that just isn't true.
Don't get me wrong, I think Nic Roeg is a wonderful director and a brilliant DP. DON'T LOOK NOW, THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, and BAD TIMING are some of my favorite films, but PERFORMANCE is Cammell's vision more than Roeg's.
In fact, given the ironic and tragic life that Cammell led, perhaps it's only fitting that he would be overlooked for his work on PERFORMANCE, which displays his obsessions for Borges, gender/identity, and sexuality.
Any interest? Seek out DONALD CAMMELL: THE ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE for a fascinating look at this brilliant artist.
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