Film Screening

Multiple Dates
Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 2

Part of Richard Avedon: Notes on "Nothing Personal"

Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 2

Date + Time

Thursday, July 9, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 11, 2009, 3:00 p.m.


Phyllis Wattis Theater


Behind Every Good Man
Nikolai Ursin, 1965, 8 min., 16mm

Portrait of Jason
Shirley Clarke, 1967, 100 min., 35mm

Behind Every Good Man — a short from Ursin, then a film student at the University of California, Los Angeles — documents a gay African American man and his meditations on love, queer life in the 1960s, and gender transgression. The film and its subject eschew period cliches about homosexuality and point to possibilities beyond disaster, despair, and tragedy.

Experimental filmmaker Clarke culled her Portrait of Jason from a grueling, 12-hour interview with her subject, Jason Holliday. A complicated examination of cinema verité conventions, the spectacle of the interviewed subject, and the seeming exoticism (for a mostly white, avant-garde audience) of a gay, African American performer and sometime hustler, the film is Holliday's. His difficult performance of self against the filmmaker's goading and unflinching gaze remains, in the end, his own.

Admission + Ticketing

$5 general; free for SFMOMA members or with museum admission (requires a free ticket, which can be picked up in the Haas Atrium). Double features: films offered on the same date are included in one ticket.

Buy tickets

Image: Shirley Clarke, Portrait of Jason (still), 1967.  Released through Film Makers Distribution Center.  Photo courtesy Anthology Film Archives.

SFMOMA thanks Alex Cherian, San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive film archivist, for his assistance and support of this program.