Event Information
PORTRAIT OF JASON
Scene 1
Wednesday, Mar 14, 2018 6:00 PM
The highlights of a 12-hour interview with Aaron Payne, aka Jason Holliday, a former houseboy, would-be cabaret performer, and self-proclaimed hustler who, while drinking and smoking cigarettes and pot, giggles his way through stories and observations of what it was (and is) like to be black and gay in 1960s America. Part of Women's March: Pioneers program.
Event Pricing
General Admission Adult Evening - $9.00
General Admission Seniors (60+) - $6.50
General Admission UI Student (with valid ID) - $6.50
General Admission Children (12 and younger) - $6.50

Are You A Member? Click Yes To Sign In.
YesNo
 
Ticket Selection
 
Ticket Availability
Event Date Passed

Iowa theatrical premiere, fifty years after original release!
Scree
ning followed by moderated discussion with filmmaker and UI graduate student P. Sam Kessie, Writer/Activist Raia Lichen and Middle East Studies researcher Shereena Honary.

“Jason reaches brilliant moments in a total run-down of his soul history, an all-night monologue breaking the barrier between private humor and public discourse, covering inside history of gay Negro boyhood, urban hip scenes as a houseboy scoring for human kicks, high camp spade queens on street corners, lower echelon nightclub comic universe, underground love concessions - all done in a language so down American, Jason emergess as a familiar archetype in the hip hotel rooms of decades."
- Allen Ginsberg

“The most extraordinary film I've seen in my life...it is absolutely fascinating." - Ingmar Bergman

“Clarke invests herself in Jason's tales as a meticulous yet passionate insider; it's as if she and he were involved in a mutual possession; Clarke unfolding her own psychic marginality and spontaneous artistry in his own dangerous self-disperal and recovering her own identity in his self-discovery - even as Holliday delivers himself, vulnerably and trustingly, to Clarke as the "material" he knows his life to be." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker

On the night of December 2, 1966, Shirley Clarke and a tiny crew convened in her apartment at the Hotel Chelsea to make a film. There, for twelve straight hours they filmed the one-and-only Jason Holliday as he spun tales, sang, donned costumes and reminisced about good times and bad behavior as a gay hustler, sometimes houseboy and aspiring caberet performer. The result is a mesmerizing portrait of a remarkable, charming and tortured man, who is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking.

Portrait of Jason is a film that plays with complexities. While it was shot in a verite style, the film's subject is a man who readily admits to deceiving everyong - and may be lying to the camera. On the film, Clarke said, "The result, I'm convinced, is a portrait of a guy who is both a genius and a bore. Although Jason says he really hasn't had any fun as a hustler conning people, he appears to have had the last laugh." Any way you look at the film, it remains one of the most facinating documentaries in cinema.