Influence and Controversy- More Performance

Written by Joe D on December 25th, 2009

I bought the dvd of Performance and this cool documentary was on there. Jack Nitzsche. Jr. is interviewed and a lot of other interesting people. Frank Mazzola’s interview is informative and deep. Jack Jr. says his father got one of the 1st Moog synthesizers for this score ( the 9th one made), how cool is that.


Jack Nitzsche, a genius at creating music that made films come alive

Mazzola talks about intercutting the opening sequences and how “everything they tried worked” or “was right”. I know from experience that sometimes in the editing room you can reach a state of consciousness, some times from exhaustion or ingesting mind altering substances, where the energy flows right through you into the film, the film becomes alive on the editing machine, it seems to breathe on the picture head, the characters get off the screen and walk around on your flatbed editing machine.


Besides being a great editor Frank M. was also an actor, that’s him on the right in Rebel Without A Cause. Dig That Crazy Pompadour!

If you want to experience that kind of editing watch the opening of Performance, actually the entire film but the opening is particularly strong. Mazzola said they worked from 7 at night to 5 in the morning, I think they cut it at Warner Hollywood in Sam Goldwyn’s old office.


Get Out Of My Office!

Funny to think of Goldwyn’s ghost watching these two visionaries making this psychedelic poem of violence, sex, drugs, music, polymorphous perversity that was like a bomb going off in Hollywood and Midnight Movie house across the world. Like a virus of decadence infecting the minds of the stoned out audiences in movie theaters in middle class suburbs. What a trip!

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Dec

    Performance CAN be addictive! You might want to check out two books on the film that may still be available from Amazon: Mick Brown on Performance and Performance by Colin MacCabe. Once upon a time, I wrote about it all on my website.

  2. Dec
    Joe D

    Yeah. I read your pages on it and I bought the Mick Brown book. It is addictive! I also got the soundtrack lp, what a great score. I think it may be Nitzsche’s best. I’d like to see the long version just to see what got cut out.

  3. Dec

    Thanks for the comments and pictures. I am still editing in Hollywood, but the freedom I had to be creative and innovative on Performance will always be a highlight in my career. Sincerely Frank Mazzola.

  4. Dec
    Joe D

    Frank. Thanks for writing. The more I watch Performance, the more I’m impressed with your work. It’s groundbreaking in so many ways! I always notice something new every time I watch it. You really touched Heaven on that one!

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