Filmmaker Stephen Winter is the guest on this Fandor-sponsored episode of the podcast. Stephen’s new film Jason and Shirley had its world premiere at BAMcinemaFest on Thursday, June 18. The film is a fictional account of the day Shirley Clarke shot her seminal doc, Portrait of Jason. Catch Jason and Shirley at film festivals this summer and watch Portrait of Jason on Fandor starting June 19.
December 3, 1966, Oscar winning filmmaker Shirley Clarke invites Jason Holiday, a black gay hustler, drug addict and transient to her Chelsea Hotel penthouse in New York City to film him for 12 hours nonstop telling stories from his turbulent life. This became Portrait of Jason, a pioneering documentary hailed for its unflinching look at race and sexuality. Yet some accused Shirley Clarke of exploitation, as she and her partner Carl Lee, a brilliant African American actor and heroin user, hint as a love triangle between the three of them, as they goad Jason into a terrible on-screen nervous breakdown. Jason and Shirley goes behind the scenes of that day, and tell the story from Jason’s intoxicated yet completely self-aware and surreal point of view. The film stars Jack Waters as Jason Holliday and Sarah Schulman as Shirley Clarke.
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