Portrait of Jason - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Portrait of Jason Reviews

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½ November 13, 2015
A very important movie, a very good movie, though probably overlong. But a classic example of a kind of despicable filmmaking that really bugs me. I don't come away from this liking the filmmakers at all. Or liking Jason all that much really too, but I feel for him, because they ambushed him and took advantage of him. It's exploitative. And the best moments of the film are when it's not.
October 15, 2015
Awesome LGBTS bio-doc
January 3, 2014
A spectacularly entertaining hour and a half with Jason Holliday (aka Aaron Payne), a flamboyant homosexual prostitute, sometime houseboy and aspiring night club entertainer. He gets progressively drunker as he regales Shirley Clarke and her crew with a series of fascinating stories and reflections. Things get hairy near the end as personal relations between Shirley, Jason and her crew bleed into the film.
June 22, 2013
I went into this blind, which, in hindsight, was probably a mistake. Knowing nothing about the man or the film ahead of time made his one-man monologue a bit tedious. While technically an interview, all we really see are his reactions to questions. And those reactions are split in with his laugh, making it hard for me to follow.
April 26, 2013
Portrait of Jason is a vital document of many important social and cultural themes - homosexuality, racial politics, class stratification, and the changing face of New York in the 60s on one hand; cinema verité, documentary film, and NYC underground cinema on the other. As someone coming to this film without any firsthand knowledge of New York City in the 1960s, Jason is still captivatingly relevant in a modern and mainstream setting like the IFC center, in 2013, in the heart of Greenwich Village. Jason may very well change your life, but at the very least he'll keep you entertained for an hour and 45 minutes.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2013
Every interview is a performance.

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.
½ August 26, 2009
Delusion, despair and comedy combined!
August 21, 2009
Filmed in cinema verite style, Jason Holliday is a natural talker and performer, who has found a liberating place in front of the camera, and you walk away from the film thinking that you have known him as he intimately presents himself to be..(as in you can't tell where truth ends and fiction begins in his stories, although that's not the point... the point is that he grabs your attention and you stay with him)
August 14, 2008
A fascinating portrait of an extra-ordinary person. Captivating and funny documentary.
October 22, 2007
Not for everyone definitely for me
September 11, 2007
JASON! it was a hard task to find a film,
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).
½ August 14, 2007
great, weird, beautiful!!
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