PERFORMANCE (Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, 1970)
Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.
Friday, August 13, 2:00; Monday, August 16, 4:00; Tuesday, August 17, 6:15
Series runs August 11-18
All-Access Pass: $99
A British gangster on the run hides out with a psychedelic rock star in this strangely enticing film from Donald (THE DEMON SEED) Cammell and Nicolas Roeg (making his big-screen directorial debut). James Fox didn’t know what he was getting into when he signed on to play Chas, a mobster who finds sanctuary with mushroom-popping rock-diva has-been Turner, played with panache by Mick Jagger. Throw in Anita Pallenberg, a fab drug trip, and the great “Memo to Turner” scene and you have a film that some consider the real precursor to MTV, some think a work of pure demented genius, and others find to be one of the most pretentious and awful pieces of claptrap ever committed to celluloid. We fall somewhere in the middle of all of that.
PERFORMANCE is screening as part of Lincoln Center’s Film Comment Summer Meltdown series, eight days of movies by, about, or featuring rock stars and/or rock culture (complete with head trips). The music begins August 11 with the Who in Jeff Stein’s THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT (1979), Neil Young & Crazy Horse in Jim Jarmusch’s YEAR OF THE HORSE (1997), David Bowie in D. A. Pennebaker’s ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1973), and Gaspar Noé blowing your mind with the director’s cut of ENTER THE VOID (2009); Noé will also participate in a postscreening Q&A with Paz de la Huerta and Nathaniel Brown, moderated by Vice head Shane Smith. Codirectors L. M. Kit Carson and Lawrence Schiller will be on hand for the August 15 showing of their inside look at Dennis Hopper, THE AMERICAN DREAMER (1971), and Finders Keepers founder Andy Votel will play a turntable set prior to the August 13 screening of Sandy Harbutt’s Australian biker flick, STONE (1974). Other films feature such superstars as the Rolling Stones (STONES IN EXILE, GET YER YA-YA’S OUT), Sly Stone (COMING BACK FOR MORE), the Sex Pistols (THE GREAT ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SWINDLE), Ringo Starr and the Turtles (Frank Zappa’s 200 MOTELS), and a Pink Floyd soundtrack (ZABRISKIE POINT). Many of the screenings will be followed by a music-laced after-party in the Furman Gallery.