Portrait of Jason

Sat, Jan 23, 2016

Portrait of Jason

(Shirley Clarke, 1967, USA)
105mins, 35mm Projection

Filmed by the auteur over a long December night, the camera gazes at Jason while he speaks at length about his upbringing as a queer black man, his aspirations of being a cabaret dancer, and his otherness in a relentlessly hostile world. As Jason’s remarks become increasingly troublesome, Shirley and her partner, the brilliant Carl Lee, break the fourth wall and confront Jason from behind the camera. Inspiring numerous, often heated, discourses about sexuality, race, and class, the conversation between Jason and his documenters demonstrates the captivating power of monologue and the vital art of listening.

*Shirley Clarke's Portrait of Jason was just selected as one of the 25 films for 2015 to be inducted into the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.

Shirley Clarke’s short film, “24 Frames Per Second” (3mins) precedes the feature.

Restored print courtesy of Milestone Films.

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