Portrait of Jason is an extended interview with its eponymous subject: a gay African-American man and a brilliant raconteur. When asked by Clarke early on what he does for a living, he succinctly responds, giggling: “I hustle… I’m a stone whore, and I’m not ashamed of it.” This might be the ultimate film about hustling and being hustled. It becomes clear that Jason’s identity is assumed in more ways than one. He spins hilarious yarns—recounting affairs gone sour, his days of indolent splendor as a houseboy, raising money for a nightclub act that he has endlessly deferred—but eventually they start to unravel. To borrow from Jason’s elaborate lexicon, things get… confused. Are his theatrics for us, or for himself? Are we being had or entertained? Or has Jason shifted around the particulars of his autobiography so often that he’s found it illegible? Maybe all are true, or none.
Introduction by writer Hilton Als
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