Performance (18)

Thursday 30th November 2023

Dir. Nicolas Roeg, UK, 1970, 101 mins. Cast James Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, Michele Breton.

Judith Noble has chosen Performance as the film to accompany her Professorial lecture, An Occult Avantgarde: magic, sexuality, gender and transcendence'. The lecture will take place on Thursday, 30 November 18:00 - 19:30. Find out more about the lecture and book free tickets here.

One of the greatest British films ever made, in Performance the occult meets the counterculture meets the London underworld in Cammell and Roeg’s cult masterpiece. Starring James Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg and Michelle Breton, with music by Mick Jagger and Ry Cooder, and ostensibly a “crime movie about rock and roll” the film is a disturbing but beautiful mix of occult ideas that explores the nature of gender and identity, and the relationships between violence and creativity, hallucinogens and music, amorality, power and death.

Donald Cammell was a key figure in the Luciferian London scene of the 1960s, His father had been a close friend of Aleister Crowley (who was the infant Cammell’s baby sitter!). Cammell worked with Kenneth Anger and would go on to play Osiris in Anger’s Lucifer Rising (1981). The script adviser was the mysterious counterculture figure David Litvinoff, associate of the Krays who modelled for painter Lucian Freud. LItvinoff was described by Cammell as a genius and the film’s guiding spirit.

“I sneaked in to see this very X-rated film at the age of 15 in Manchester. More than any other film, Performance made me want to be a filmmaker” (Judith Noble)

For detailed information about the film's age rating and content notices, you can visit the BBFC website and search the film title, then scroll down to the “Content Advice” section:

Dates & Times

 Thursday 30th Nov 2023  8:00pm
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