Sunday Afternoon Netflix Picks: Performance

If you want to trip out that eternal stretch of nothingness between Saturday night and Monday morning, then do what I did and watch the beautiful, bizarre Performance. Filmed in 1968 and released in 1970, a 25-year-old Mick Jagger makes his acting debut as a doe-eyed retired rockstar with Pantene hair and angel lips. It’s shocking to see such a hardened rocker look so innocent and unassuming, which was much of the appeal. That and he looks hot. (Actually, the entire cast is beautiful, especially Anita Pallenberg and except for those portraying the Establishment.)

Perhaps it just goes to show how successful the film was in spreading its message that I spent most of the film taking home-decorating notes from the set of his dilapidated bohemian lair. The questioning of identity, sexual mores, gender roles, the mixing of fantasy and fiction and the challenging of the Establishment have in and of themselves become the Establishment in the intervening 40 years. Nonetheless, the film takes a huge amount of artistic risks that filmmakers wouldn’t dare take in these enlightened days. I won’t go into the plot, because it is secondary to this artistic, cultural and musical experiment. Just go watch the film. It’ll expand your mind.

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