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Donald Cammell’s Cinema of Excess

Anita Pallenberg with Cammell on the set of 'Performance.'

Even if you are a die-hard fan of outre, counter-cultural cinema, you might not leap to attention at the mention of the name Donald Cammell.

A painting prodigy as a young man, Cammell was making a living with his brushes by the age of 19. Having built the foundations of a lucrative portrait painting career, Cammell moved to Paris in search of a more inspired path in art. This shunning of commercial opportunity for artistic possibility marked Cammell’s pursuits in the years to come. It’s both the reason why he’s not more widely known and why he continues to be re-discovered by lovers of cinema on the fringes.

Returning to Swinging London in the 1960′s, Cammell decided that painting was dead and that he needed to turn his talents towards cinema. He lived a bohemian lifestyle and became the embodiment of the era’s libertine ideals.… Read the rest

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