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Milestone Film Spotlight: Portrait of Jason

  • The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW Calgary, AB, T2N 3P4 Canada (map)

Shirley Clarke | 1967 | 35mm

Co-Presented with Fairytales Presentation Society 

On the night of December 2, 1966, 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, 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 heartbreaking. Fairytales Presentation Society (best known for Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival) is our community partner - scroll down to learn more about them.  Visit MILESTONE FILM

Biography - Shirley Clarke

Born October 2, 1919 in New York, Shirley Brimberg Clarke danced into the world of art in her teens, studying with such innovative choreographers as Martha Graham, Hanya Holm and Doris Humphrey. 

After marrying and having a daughter, Clarke turned her talents to cinema, becoming an esteemed filmmaker at a time when few women worked in the field. Her early shorts reflected her lifelong love of dance along with a growing mastery of the new medium. In her award-winning A Dance in the Sun (1953), In Paris Parks (1954), Bullfight (1955) and A Moment in Love (1957), Clarke captured movement on film in a new way, eschewing close-ups in favor of long takes and innovative editing. An active member and advocate of New York’s independent film community, Clarke later turned her attention to social-issue filmmaking. 


Fairytales Presentation Society is a not-for-profit, charitable organization located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, focusing on celebrating local and national queer artists of all artistic mediums including but not limited to film. Our artistic endeavors strive to provide a safe and respectful venue for members of all communities to celebrate queer culture. Activities include: the annual annual Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival, OUTReels Diversity Education Program and Youth Queer Media Program.