Portrait of Jason
Director: Shirley Clarke Run Time: 105 min. Format: 35mm Film Release Year: 1967
The Queer Film Guide’s Kyle Turner in Attendance!
In a black blazer, a white button-down, thick, black-rimmed glasses, and the occasional feather boa, Jason Holliday (née Aaron Payne), tells filmmaker Shirley Clarke and the audience the story of his life. The film starts off straightforwardly enough: Jason recounting different parts of his life, told with a jauntiness and a glass in hand, almost every word he speaks spiked with verve and Holliday’s irrepressible laughter. But as the film stretches on… the veneer of casual and conventional profile and character study starts to spin out of control, with tension and hostility becoming increasingly visceral.