Performance (1970)

What do you get when you mix a hardcore London Gangster on the run, a washed-up, drugged out rock star, an androgynous French model and psychedelic mushrooms? Nic Roeg’s Performance, of course. How could you not be intrigued? But wait, it gets better: the washed-up rock star is played by none-other than Mick Jagger. Yeah. Really. If you haven’t seen this yet you should be asking yourself why.

Chas, hard at work.

Chas, hard at work.

Our London Gangster, Chas, is a cruel man indeed, and he takes his work very seriously. His boss, a big-time London mobster, is always reminding Chas to keep personal beefs out of day-to-day work, but that seems to be the one thing Chas can’t handle. He takes it too far and ends up on the run, hiding out in the mysterious Mr. Turner’s (Jagger) scummy apartment. Turner is quite skeptical of Chas at first, but soon realizes he can provide him the creative spark he needs to jumpstart his stagnating career. He just needs to find out what makes Chas tick. And that’s where things get trippy.

Chas meets his match(es)?

Chas meets his match(es)?

This might be one of the most aptly named films I’ve ever seen. It is all about the many performances people put on throughout their lives; at their jobs, in their homes, in the mirror. Are we just the sum of our performances, or is there something more?

Who are you?

Who are you?

This movie starts out pretty damn brutal, so if you can’t handle violence, I’m afraid this one isn’t for you. However, the pay-off is definitely worth it. This is one of the most unique films I’ve ever seen, and the one thing I’m sure of is that I think I’m going to have to watch it a few more times before I can be sure I’ve gotten the most out of it I possibly can. I look forward to that task.

Ooh, Mick.

Ooh, Mick.

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