Performance, the 1970 Nic Roeg movie starring Mick Jagger and James Fox, was recently released on DVD. I'm going to write about it here eventually, but it's taking some time to put my thoughts together. Since it was initally released thirty-seven years ago, I don't think an extra day or two is going to matter. To whet your appetite, I thought I'd write a bit about its milieu, which is the Sixties Psychedelic Movie.
You may be familiar with sixties freak-out movies. (If not, you're in for a treat. Do rent some.) They usually go like this: A disaffected twenty-something finds out about Sartre and Kerouac and becomes a groovy photographer, hanging 10 X 8s up to dry in his darkroom. There's usually some Eero Saarinen chairs around in offices, looking spartan, in contrast to the let-it-all-hangoutiness of the youth. Then there's a scene in a basement where a band called the Funky Purple Frogs (played by the Yardbirds) screech a bunch of feedback to a lot of skinny boys wearing Nehru jackets and peace signs. There's usually also a number of interchangeable blonde girls in Granny Takes a Trip gear, all waving their arms like a pot of boiling spaghetti and smoking thin, hand rolled cigarettes. Then several people take acid and the editing goes all wonky. Then at the end, there's a few credits and the whispered Sensurround sound of the audience saying, "Huh?"
Performance? Well, it's not one of those.