Portrait of Jason - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Portrait of Jason Reviews

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March 20, 2018
[PODCAST] Shirley Clarke's 1967 cinéma vérité masterpiece remains a scathing social and character study of race in America for the enigmatic quality of its unreliable subject, Jason Holliday (nee Aaron Payne, 1924-1998).
Full Review | Original Score: A+
January 29, 2016
Born Aaron Payne, Jason Holiday gives the performance of any lifetime, and it is superb artifice.
September 30, 2015
The larger truth is that Jason, who died in obscurity in 1998, and [Portrait of Jason] still have things to teach us about the nature of race, sex, and success in America.
January 29, 2015
Jason's surnames have a Dickensian interpretive quality: The invented 'Holliday' testifies to his wish for a life of celebrity ease, while birth-name 'Payne' seems appropriate to his stories of a rough Southern childhood and a stay in a 'nut house.'
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 2, 2014
A reminder that character is the heart of drama, even in a documentary made on a shoestring.
November 10, 2014
Jason's simultaneously funny and tragic, and almost heroic in the way he keeps eluding director Shirley Clarke's efforts to pin him down.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 18, 2014
This unscripted and uncompromising study of a self-proclaimed street hustler is a fine example of the pioneering film movement of cinema verité.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
June 27, 2014
A non-stop, fascinating monologue that is enormously entertaining.
April 8, 2014
Melancholy joie de vivre permeates every instant in the film, made to look as ragged as possible yet elegant in its simple, loving directness: look at him.
September 11, 2013
Like any star turn, Holliday's performance rings utterly true. It's that indefinable but unmistakable reality-beyond-reality called art.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 15, 2013
This is a film way ahead of its time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 23, 2013
A mesmerizing journey into experimental filmmaking.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
April 16, 2013
Serves as a sideways time capsule, creating a blurry snapshot of an Afro-camp subculture during the era of Christopher Street bar raids and burn-baby-burn rioting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 16, 2013
Shirley Clarke counters Jason's queen-bitch attitude by reminding us with vocal and technological interjections that this is a performance, and that aesthetic judgments have been made while recording it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 15, 2013
A masterwork of grand-scale intimacy ...
April 12, 2013
By the end of the long night's shoot, Clarke knew she had captured one of the most involving, uncompromising and revelatory human documents in the history of cinema.
March 27, 2012
[Portrait of Jason] says more about race, class, and sexuality than just about any movie before or since.
March 27, 2012
Portrait of Jason is a curious and fascinating example of cinema verité, all the ramifications of which cannot be immediately known.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 24, 2011
A riveting portrait of a black male prostitute from the bold, gifted director Shirley Clarke
Full Review | Original Score: B+
February 9, 2006
Jason himself certainly provides enough artifice to keep any audience engrossed.
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