As mentioned earlier, I designed the jacket for this excellent biography of Donald Cammell some time ago. The book is reviewed in today’s (London) Times by Barry Miles.
Quite a performance
review by Barry Miles
DONALD CAMMELL: A Life on the Wild Side
by Rebecca and Sam Umland
FAB Press, £24.95 hardback, £16.95 paperback; 304pp
THERE IS A PERSISTENT rumour that after shooting himself in the head the filmmaker Donald Cammell lived on in a delirious, euphoric state for 45 minutes. The story is that he asked his wife China to place a mirror so that he could watch himself die and said: “Do you see the picture of Borges”? This is a reference to the death scene in Performance, his best known film, when the gangster Chas (played by James Fox) shoots the rock star Turner (played by Mick Jagger).
In a profoundly shocking sequence, the camera follows the bullet into his brain, only to find there a photograph of the Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges who is much quoted in the film. This is but one of the many myths surrounding Cammell that these authors debunk — he died the instant the .38 bullet entered his skull.