April 16, 2024


and the people who made it

Donald Cammell

Donald Cammell was the mastermind Co-Director behind Performance. Here are some resources that can help to understand a bit about who he was and what he created.

“Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance” film about Donald Cammell’s Life and Death

The Time Out Review encapsulates it well:

  • “For Cammell, the ultimate performance, of course, was to shoot himself (only to remain lucid for some while as he spoke to his wife China before dying): a shocking but strangely appropriate end for the writer/co-director of Performance. He had led a dramatic life – a precocious painter, a charismatic sexual adventurer and a member of fashionable/arty sets in Paris and London during the Swinging ’60s, a reclusive exile in LA occasionally hanging out with the likes of Kenneth Anger and (less happily) Brando – but was he, finally, an underachiever? Post-Performance, his career was littered with uneven or unmade films, and perhaps one can’t blame others for being wary of his artistic risk-taking, his abiding interest in sexuality, violence and death, Crowley and Borges, and some of his near mystical ideas. He may have had a dissociative personality, someone says here. This excellent documentary is enthusiastic but never hagiographic. At its core lies the fascinating history of Performance – a movie that looks even more insanely uncompromising now than when it first appeared.”

Interview with Donald Cammell by David DelValle 

About Donald Cammell’s death – from the Independent

Another look at Donald Cammell and “The Ultimate Performance” 

About Cammell as a director

First clip of Donald Cammell’s film, “The Argument”: 


Donald Cammell’s other films are:

Wild Side – It is very important to get the correct edit of this film, worked on by Frank Mazzola. This version – most true to Cammell’s vision – is currently only available in England. 

The White of the Eye – Cammell was unhappy with this cut, which he felt was ruined by the studio.

Demon Seed – Cammell was also unhappy with the released version of this film.