Donald Cammell

Donald Cammell

Donald Seaton Cammell (17 January 1934 – 24 April 1996) was a Scottish film director who enjoys a cult reputation thanks to his debut film Performance, which he co-directed with Nicolas Roeg.



Cammell was born in the Camera Obscura (then known as Outlook Tower) on Castlehill, near the castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of the poet and writer Charles Richard Cammell. The older Cammell wrote a biography of Aleister Crowley focusing principally on the occultist's poetry. Crowley, who lived near the Cammells for a time, knew the young Donald. A prodigy, he was a society portrait painter and thanks to family connections, a prominent fixture of the "swinging London" social scene of the 1960s, specifically of what became known as the "Chelsea Set."

He wrote and co-directed Performance with Nicolas Roeg in 1968, though he didn't get another film produced until Demon Seed in 1977. Cammell also made the eccentric horror thriller White of the Eye in 1987. Between infrequent film and TV directing jobs, Cammell directed music videos for the likes of U2.

When Cammell's 1995 film Wild Side was cut by the producer, he committed suicide in Hollywood, California by shooting himself. His wife claimed the wound was not immediately fatal and that he asked for a mirror so that he could watch himself die; the claim would later be disputed in Cammell's published biography. A posthumous "director's cut," commissioned by FilmFour and edited by his widow and co-screenwriter China Kong and editor Frank Mazzola, was released in 2000 to critical acclaim.

In 2005, Fan-Tan, a novel Cammell conceived with actor Marlon Brando in 1978, was published.


Cammell was a central figure in the making of Performance. In writing the screenplay he drew on his familiarity with the London underworld of the 1960s and association with the pop musicians of the day. In his collaboration with Roeg, Cammell concentrated on working with the actors and did most of the prolonged editing of the film in California; producer Sanford 'Sandy' Lieberson and co-director Roeg were busy on other projects.



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  • Performance (film) — Infobox Film | name = Performance caption = Performance VHS cover director = Donald Cammell Nicolas Roeg producer = Sanford Lieberson writer = Donald Cammell starring = James Fox Mick Jagger music = Jack Nitzsche cinematography = Nicolas Roeg… …   Wikipedia

  • Performance (film) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Performance. Performance Données clés Titre original Performance Réalisation Donald Cammell Nicolas Roeg Scénario …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wild Side (1995 film) — Infobox Film name = Wild Side image size = caption = director = Donald Cammell producer = John Langley (a.o.) Frank Mazzola (director s cut) writer = China Kong Donald Cammell narrator = starring = Anne Heche Joan Chen Christopher Walken music =… …   Wikipedia

  • White of the Eye (film) — Infobox Film name = White Of The Eye image size = caption = VHS cover director = Donald Cammell producer = Cassian Elwes Brad Wyman writer = Andrew Klavan (novel) Donald Cammell narrator = starring = David Keith Cathy Moriarty music =… …   Wikipedia

  • Kevin MacDonald — (* 28. Oktober 1967 in Glasgow, Schottland) ist ein britischer Filmregisseur, Drehbuchautor und Filmproduzent. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biografie 2 Filmografie 2.1 Regisseur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kevin Macdonald — (* 28. Oktober 1967 in Glasgow, Schottland) ist ein britischer Filmregisseur, Drehbuchautor und Filmproduzent. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biografie 2 Filmografie 2.1 Regisseur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wild Side (película de 1995) — Wild Side Título Wild Side Ficha técnica Dirección Donald Cammell Producción John Langley Frank Mazzola Gui …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cinéma britannique — Le Royaume Uni a exercé une influence dans le développement aussi bien technologique, commercial et artistique du cinéma. Cependant, malgré une histoire jalonnée de productions à succès, l industrie est caractérisée par un débat qui n est pas… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Demon Seed — This article is about the 1977 film. For the episode of Xiaolin Showdown, see The Demon Seed (Xiaolin Showdown). Demon Seed Movie poster Directed by …   Wikipedia

  • China Kong — (born 1960) is an American actor, writer, and producer of Asian descent. Kong is the widow of director Donald Cammell, having met him when she was 14 years of age and he was 40 years of age in 1974. After having an affair, the two would wed 4… …   Wikipedia

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