Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Portrait of Jason is a disturbing but fascinating 90-minute exercise in the Avant Garde (earlier prints ran 105 minutes). Experimental filmmaker Shirley Clarke, produced, edited, directed and provided voiceover for this landmark film. Essentially, the picture consists of an interview with "Jason," a young black homosexual and male prostitute. Despite her kaleidoscope style, Clarke takes great pains not to editorialize: Jason is Jason, like it or not. While mainstream critics expressed nausea and disgust over Portrait of Jason, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman declared it to be "the most fascinating film I've ever seen."
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance