Portrait of Jason Reviews
And you are very unlikely to see one as entertaining as the one in the case of Jason Holliday(ne Aron Payne), hustler and house boy extraordinaire, who is attempting to put his vast experiences together into a nightclub act, thus enlivening that particular American trait for reinvention. At the same time, the only name dropping he does concerns Miles Davis which considering what has been written by and about Davis, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he did know a few hustlers in his time. And even though Jason also covers some very serious material like his abusive father, he remains garrulous throughout, occasionally taking puffs on a joint.
Even when the video fails at one point, the filmmakers do their best to keep the audio going, in order to record as much of Jason's story as they can.(The boom mike also puts in an appearance.) Otherwise, scenes are marked by the imaqe fading in and out. That pattern continues until almost the end when the filmmakers begin to call out Jason about some of his stories.
so special, so unique for film history, yet rather unknown. a milestone of black gay cinema perhaps, made during the first years of the black liberation movement, before stonewall and before all the other "first" "gay"
films, but directed by a white woman, who also was a dancer, mainly with
martha graham and with jonas mekas co-founder of the film-makers
cooperative, meanwhile the world's biggest distributor for independent and
avant-garde movies. a documentary film that redefined documentaries, a
pioneer of the cinema verite, which doesn't really deserve this title
because of ist protagonist's will to perform: a black man with a pair of
thick black glasses, who needs no more than a hat to transform himself into
mae west. ingmar bergmans favourite film, a film that could have been shot
by warhol, if ist superstar wouldn't happen to be poor, black, truly
talented and genuinely funny, a no-go for the thoroughly white factory gang
of spoilt daughters and their adorers. shirley clarke and her crew filmed a
whole night, or let's say, as long as the material lasted that she had
somehow got her hands on, her friend jason holliday, born aaron payne, an
aging black hustler, getting more and more drunk and stoned during the
interview, a mesmerizing piece of performance, an intimate cinematic
experience which lives off jasons readiness to unpack every - every! -
detail out of himself, a fascinating PORTRAIT OF JASON (usa 1967).