“PERFORMANCE is a mirror: You look in it, and it shows you a kind of self you fear or dream of….It’s part of the chronic English addiction to noir. It’s a fairy story, poised between the godheads of Aleister Crowley and Jorge Luis Borges. It has moments that belong to the history of the musical. It has passages worthy of an anthology of the most pretentious films ever made. It takes itself so seriously that it can be very funny….
“James Fox and Mick Jagger…are both good enough to hold the film in place, though the most powerful figure onscreen is Anita Pallenberg as Pherber, the seductive impressario….
“PERFORMANCE has to be seen—it is very visual. But it is very heady, too—and that requires patience….By now there is enough written about it to nearly bury the film. So hold on to moments, like Jagger singing ‘Memo from Turner.’ ” — David Thomson
This Friday, the American Cinematheque is screening a 35mm print of PERFORMANCE (1970, directed by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, with a score by Jack Nitzsche) on the second half of a “Rated X” double-bill with Lindsay Anderson’s landmark of rebellion and anarchy IF…. (1968, starring Malcolm McDowell, in his debut).
IF…. and PERFORMANCE, Friday, July 21, at 7:30 pm
EGYPTIAN THEATRE, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood.
Top: Malcolm McDowell in If…. Bottom: Mick Jagger (right) in Performance.