Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

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Matt
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Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#1 Post by Matt » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:50 pm

If you only support one Kickstarter campaign, make it this one: Help Milestone restore Portrait of Jason.

Dig deep, folks. I know how much you spend on those 50%-off Criterion sales.

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criterionsnob
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#2 Post by criterionsnob » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:18 pm

I have the Second Run DVD, but I'm happy to support this restoration and Milestone.

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knives
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#3 Post by knives » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:47 am

On pay day I'll certainly add a dollar or two. It is the least anyone can do for a film of such quality.

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Foam
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#4 Post by Foam » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:41 pm

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. One of the greatest indies of the 60s.

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knives
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#5 Post by knives » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:27 pm

With just over a month left to raise nearly $20,000 more dollars this might be an important time for a reminder. Do you really need that $5?

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Emak-Bakia
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#6 Post by Emak-Bakia » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:00 pm

Bumped for a good cause. We're in the home stretch now. I've been having my doubts about this meeting its funding goal, but am heartened to see that the total amount pledged has jumped by about $4,000 in the past day or two. I know money's tight for a lot of people this time of the year, but consider that, if you donate, you will not be charged until the campaign ends in 12 days (assuming it meets the modest $25,000 goal), so feel free to spend recklessly. Buy now, pay later. Everybody wins.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#7 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:10 pm

I just gave in and put up $75 today. I spent way too much on other stuff over the last week or so not to guilt myself into supporting this thing.

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#8 Post by drdoros » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:39 pm

First, we are so thankful for everybody who supported us and/or helped spread the word! I know it's tough out there. (Inside there, it's too dark to read.)

I should mention here that I spent my entire birthday (Sunday) on comparing the Academy/Milestone new restoration (well, the raw 2K scans while we await funding for the rest of it) with the Second Run dvd and the Mystic Fire versions, along with a relatively pristine 35mm print from 1967 that Shirley sold to the Swedish Film Institute. Since the Academy based our restoration on the Stockholm 35mm, there's no surprise that it matches perfect. What surprised me was how much was missing from the video releases. As most of you know, the film is made to look like rough footage and there's quite a number of scenes where the film runs out, it cuts to black, and over that, Jason continues a story, starts another, or talks with Shirley, Carl and/or Bob (Fiore). Well, many of these scenes are missing in both video versions -- around four to five minutes worth. Either the prints used were previously and mistakingly cut by projectionists (since many were at the beginning of the reels, though two or three were in the middle) or since the film transfer is always done without sound, there were mistakes made. The latter is somewhat more plausible, but I can't imagine what happened when they tried to lay down the soundtracks. Anyway, I can promise the Milestone release will not only look infinitely better (since it's off an original 1967 fine grain struck from the camera negative) but there's also considerable more footage.

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zedz
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#9 Post by zedz » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:49 pm

Even better! Good luck reaching your goal, Dennis. I've just pitched in.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#10 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:10 am

It's fun to play spot the names on the donors list- I've noticed Annette Insdorf, Amy Taubin, Ben Model, and David Shepard so far. It feels extra special somehow that they're all the kind of celebrities you'd have to be pretty deep in this subculture to recognize in the first place.

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#11 Post by serdar002 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:20 am

you're aware that there are English fansubs available for a longer cut version (1:45 h)?

http://subscene.com/subtitles/portrait- ... ish/454634" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#12 Post by drdoros » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:18 pm

serdar002 wrote:you're aware that there are English fansubs available for a longer cut version (1:45 h)?

http://subscene.com/subtitles/portrait- ... ish/454634" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thank you so much! They are indeed the best subtitles I've seen but at 20 minutes, they veer off because of the material missing so I'm guessing it's based the Second Run DVD. I'll know more when I compare it to the rest to the film!

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#13 Post by CSM126 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:32 pm

Received a hand-written thank you note from the folks at Milestone for my contribution. I'm impressed and delighted. That's pretty great customer service.

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#14 Post by Adam » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:44 am

Me too. Handwritten is pretty incredible. Thanks Dennis!

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#15 Post by drdoros » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:00 am

Thanks! But to give credit where all credit is due -- this was Amy all the way. She spent four or five days straight over the holiday break writing to everybody. It was her idea for the Portrait of Jason note card as well!

And to update, we have completed the PORTRAIT OF JASON restoration! We're just waiting for the Academy Film Archive's logo and restoration credits to create the 35mm internegative and the DCPs. This is a restoration that like many experimental films, we actually kept the dust and scratches in the film for ethical and aesthetic reasons. It's all built in the original printing of the fine grain (mostly in the opticals) and there's a LOT less than in the original 35mm release prints so to clean any more would be to over-restore the film. I know some audience will complain, but Shirley did say in the doc Rome Brule (you can see it on YouTube) that she had big fights on THE CONNECTION where the cinematographer made the film look too beautiful.

Best yet, there are several more minutes than in the previous video releases, a LOT more detail, depth, and contrast in the image and the sound quality is far superior. The Academy and Modern Videofilm did a great job!

Dennis

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#16 Post by whaleallright » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:34 am

God bless you both!

Any attempts been made to include Rome Brûle (an episode of "Cinéastes de notre temps" directed by Noël Burch IIRC) on the set?

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#17 Post by drdoros » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:22 am

jonah.77 wrote:God bless you both!

Any attempts been made to include Rome Brûle (an episode of "Cinéastes de notre temps" directed by Noël Burch IIRC) on the set?
Attempts have been made, responses from the French producer have not been forthcoming. We keep trying, but to be honest, there are many, many bonus feature possibilities for Jason.

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#18 Post by jbeall » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:11 am

One Man, Saved from Invisibility
(The article gives a shout-out to drdoros and his wife!)

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Gregory
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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#19 Post by Gregory » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:17 pm

It seems like Dargis is laboring under some of the very same assumptions and misperceptions about documentary and cinema verité in particular that the film sets out to question. I don't believe Clarke was ever the "roll cameras and let the chips fall where they may" kind of filmmaker, and it seemed to me like the "mood shift" near the end was a conscious decision to show other sides of Jason Holliday and of the filmmakers themselves than what viewers may have perceived before thus far. I don't believe it was some spontaneous and unexpected thing that happened because of booze or close quarters, or Carl Lee suddenly showing a mean streak. The article is not too surprising, as it seems that mainstream journalist-critics like Dargis would usually rather talk about filmmakers' and performers' personal lives than what a film actually does. She mentions the blurring of fact and fiction—which is really the underlying point, I thought—and then immediately tosses it aside to speculate about the reasons for Clarke's interest in black male subjects and the prospect of her using drugs with Lee. Its interesting that this film is still able to trip people up, or at least that's my take on this.

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#20 Post by lady wakasa » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:27 am

There was a great segment on Portrait of Jason with Dennis and Robert Fiore (ass't editor) on Tell Me More (npr) yesterday.

I've had a not great year, so didn't hear about the Kickstarter; but this film sounds more and more intriguing the more I hear.

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#21 Post by FerdinandGriffon » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:55 am

Saw the restoration at IFC yesterday and it looks terrific (for a DCP), and the film itself is of course superb, eerie, and immensely entertaining.

One question though. IFC had a short by Shirley and Wendy Clarke called Butterfly playing before the feature, only so-so but I can't seem to find any information about it on the web. Does anyone happen to know the date for this? It's practically a home movie, so maybe no such info exists, but I'd kinda like to know for my own record keeping.

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#22 Post by drdoros » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:39 pm

FerdinandGriffon wrote:One question though. IFC had a short by Shirley and Wendy Clarke called Butterfly playing before the feature, only so-so but I can't seem to find any information about it on the web. Does anyone happen to know the date for this? It's practically a home movie, so maybe no such info exists, but I'd kinda like to know for my own record keeping.
Excellent question! There's no information on the film that I know of. BUTTERFLY is a Project Shirley discovery. Wendy Clarke and I went to the wonderful Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research to go through the Shirley Clarke paper and films. Though two days weren't enough, we did go through an awful lot and made some exciting discoveries. Thanks to the archive's extreme generosity, we'll be digitizing a lot of it in the coming months for our home DVD/BluRay releases.

However, one immediately caught my eye (and Mary Huelsbeck at the archive). Wendy barely remembered BUTTERFLY but it's a short 3-minute film she did with Shirley in 1967 for what she remembers as one screening at the Elgin as part of an anti-war program of various directors. It might have played once more in Oakland that year since Shirley mentioned it in an interview there, but I can find no record of any screenings at all. If anyone knows anything about the screening at the Elgin or any other information on the film, I'd love to know!

Since it's a dual self-portrait (sort of) and it was made in the same year as JASON, the IFC and Milestone thought we should include it as a small present to NYC audiences. It's not a masterpiece but it's very good and it does have Shirley and Wendy appearing in the film.

Since then, we (and Joe Lindner at the Academy Film Archive) found another related-to-Jason discovery in the Shirley collection -- an audio (we added visuals) we're calling THE LOST CONFRONTATION from Portrait of Jason -- it's a three-minute argument Shirley had with Jason that she cut out of the film but said later it was the reason for making the film. That will be playing at the Orphans screening in Los Angeles on May 10th. Over the following months, I'm hoping we'll do more surprises at JASON screenings.

I'm glad you liked the restoration!

Dennis
Milestone F&V

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#23 Post by htshell » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:46 pm

Hope we will get an extra surprise at the May 31 screening at International House Philadelphia! [-o<

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#24 Post by CSM126 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:22 pm

Received a lovely poster for the Jason restoration today. Very nice work on that, guys. I can't wait to frame it and get it up on the wall.

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Re: Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)

#25 Post by Emak-Bakia » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:25 pm

It is indeed lovely. Here it is, for anyone who's curious:

Image

Mine, unfortunately, got pretty beat up in transit, but now I figure I don't have to buy a frame for it and can just tack it up on the wall. I hope Milestone make them available for purchase at some point, as I might buy another.

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