These films find Varda at a succession of cultural and cinematic crossroads which evidence her uncommon adaptability and insatiable curiosity.
Milestone Films has gone to great lengths to restore and contextualize Portrait of Jason on this superb Blu-ray.
One of the few jazz films, or music films in general, to not simply explain its subject, but illustrate his mien, and Milestone’s release is essential for all fans.
Clarke’s portrait immortalizes Jason Holliday in the same sense that a death mask might preserve its subject’s uncanny likeness.
Shirley Clarke’s portraiture eschews cohesive biography and often spirals off into lyrical dissonance.
The junkies, as expected, are the real show, and it’s here that Gelber’s theatrical predilections emerge, less “that Barton Fink feeling” and more The Iceman Cometh.
A vital, confounding, surprising, confrontational collection of underappreciated American films.