Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Performance

A British gangster on the run from his employers hides out in a hippy house run by Mick Jagger. They feed him magic mushrooms and dress him in a girly wig- ooh, the depravity! This weirds him out so much that when his pursuers turn up next morning he goes like a lamb.

This movie has a ferocious reputation. Legend says that real sex and drugs were done on set and that James Fox had his mind so scrambled by the experience that he became a born-again Christian and spent the next ten years doing missionary work.

It's a swinging London version of Persona. The gangster sequences are genuinely disturbing, but when we get to Jagger's realm, mildness rules, OK! Perhaps at the time, all that mushroom eating and cross-dressing seemed seriously wicked, now it seems- well- kinda sweet.

And Jagger, unless he's singing, has no screen presence whatsoever. He mooches and mumbles in the shadows and Anita Pallenberg and Nicole Breton as his female sidekicks upstage him effortlessly. In an ideal world he'd have been sidelined and Pallenberg promoted to stardom. But to show a woman in charge of that household and capable, without a man pulling her strings, of defeating the Fox character- gosh- that really would have been subversive!

It's filmed in the flashy, kitchen sink and all style that's the hallmark of Nic Roeg. Fifteen minutes of it and you think you're in the presence of genius; an hour and a half and, no, it's just mannerist excess.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 3 comments