Film Screening: A Portrait of Jason (dir. Shirley Clarke 1966)
19:00 - 21:00 at The Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, London W1B 2UW
Join us for screening of the seminal American documentary A Portrait of Jason, presented in dialogue with the photographs of Dave Heath. The film and its themes of performance, alienation and authenticity, is introduced by transdisciplinary writer and academic Gavin Butt.
On 2 December, 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 behaviour as a gay hustler, sometime houseboy and aspiring cabaret performer. The result is a mesmerizing portrait of a remarkable, charming and tortured man, who is by turns hilarious and heart-breaking.
Ingmar Bergman called it “the most extraordinary film I’ve seen in my life,” and when first screened in a sneak preview, the audience included Tennessee Williams, Robert Frank, Norman Mailer, Andy Warhol, Arthur Miller, Ruby Dee, Rip Torn, Geraldine Page and Terry Southern.
Daring, provocative, ground-breaking and truly gripping, Portrait of Jason was one of the first LGBT films to be taken seriously by wider audiences. Part cinema verité and part fiction it remains one of the most remarkable films of American independent filmmaking.
Gavin Butt is Attenborough Chair in Drama, Theatre and Performance at the University of Sussex. He is author of Between You and Me: Queer Disclosures in the New York Art World 1948-1963 and Seriousness (with Irit Rogoff). Between 2009 and 2014 he was a director of Performance Matters, a creative research project exploring the cultural value of performance, during which he made his first feature-length documentary film with Ben Walters, This Is Not a Dream.
£12/£11 members & concessions. TPG Members should book the 'Associate cardholders' rate at Regent St Cinema.
Ticket price includes entrance to Dave Heath: Dialogues with Solitudes at any time before the exhibition closes. Please retain your ticket to gain admission to the gallery before 2 June.
Organised with The Regent Street Cinema as part of an ongoing partnership exploring the relationship between photography and film.