From the Vaults
Definitely not a masterpiece, but very far indeed from a complete failure, Nicholas Roeg and Donald Cammell’s Performance is some of the best and the worst that the cultural ferment of the late 1960s — now available on DVD — has to offer, containing within its quite forward-looking surreality the seeds of its pretentious demise. Completed in 1968 but then put to slumber in the vaults for two years before Warner Bros. finally decided to unleash it upon the world, the film starts off as a sort of Brit gangster flick with Cahiers du Cinema aspirations before morphing into a free-form experiment in dualism and perspective, starring Mick Jagger, no less. It’s not hard to see why the studio couldn’t decide what to do with the film, as it seems quite perfectly clear that not even the filmmakers themselves knew what to do with it.
My review ran on filmcritic.com.Link.