For some reason Stephen Winter decided that he needed to expand upon the groundbreaking film Portrait of Jason by creating what feels like little more than additional footage and outtakes. Winter seems to be searching for the same authenticity of Clarke’s important earlier film but falls short by producing an imitation of it.
Jason and Shirley is not without merit. There are fantasy scenes away from the interview that occur in Jason’s mind which are serene and quite beautiful. Accompanied by Winter’s intention to show the cruelty of Clarke, his comments on auteurship fall short of having any real weight.
Although Jason and Shirley lacks finesse and narrative strength, it does occasionally display great beauty through its visuals. This film has a clear admiration for the original but perhaps that love should have stayed off celluloid.
CAST: Orran Farmer, Eamon Fahey, Mike Bailey-Gates, Craig Cady
DIRECTOR: Stephen Winter
WRITERS: Stephen Winter, Sarah Schulman, Jack Waters
SYNOPSIS: A dramatisation of Shirley Clarke’s documentary Portrait of Jason in which she interviews gay, black street hustler Jason Holiday.