Jasper Sharp is a writer and film curator based in the UK and the co-editor of the website Midnight Eye, the premier resource on Japanese cinema in the English language, which he founded with Tom Mes in 2001. He is the director and head programmer of Zipangu Fest, the premiere festival in the UK showcasing Japanese films, and the co-director and co-programmer (with Chris Magee) of the Shinsedai New Generation Japanese Film Festival in Toronto.
Born in 1971 and raised in the rural idyll of North Devon, he has subsequently spent much of his adult life travelling, living in Paris, Montreal, Nairobi, Jyväskylä, Amsterdam and Tokyo, with his jobs ranging from a working as a farmhand in Finland through working with Douglas Adams on the computer game Starship Titanic (1996) to a long and particularly arduous stint as a software developer for Yellow Pages in Amsterdam. During these years spent overseas he nurtured his passion for world cinema, with his interests quickly focusing eastwards, to Japan, and backwards, to the dawn of film history, while he also keeps his eyes firmly fixed on the ground in search of rare mushroom specimens.
He is a regular visitor to Japan, having lived in Tokyo between 2001 and 2005, where he worked with Tom on The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film, published by Stone Bridge Press in 2004, while his critically-acclaimed study of the Japanese pink film industry, Behind the Pink Curtain, was Sight & Sound magazine’s Book of the Month upon its publication by FAB Press in 2008. His writing has appeared in numerous publications across the world, with chapters to several anthologies including 24 Frames: The Cinema of Japan and Korea for Wallflower Press, Film Out of Bounds: Essays and Interviews on Non-Mainstream Cinema Worldwide for McFarland, Ga Netchu! The Manga Anime Syndrome for the Deutsches Filmmuseum and Tokyolife: Art and Design for Rizzoli, and he has also contributed liner notes, commentaries and video interviews to numerous DVD releases.
As well as lecturing on cinema to anyone who cares to listen, curating the Japanese section of London’s Raindance Film Festival (between 2005-10) and working as an advisor for the Japan Foundation UK’s annual touring season, he has curated a number of high profile seasons and retrospectives at the British Film Institute, the Deutches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt, Austin Fantastic Fest and Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival.
About Midnight Eye
- Adamson, Richard. “The Midnight Eye Story” in Kateigaho International Edition, vol. 17, Autumn 2007: 84-87.
About Shinsedai New Generation Japanese Film Festival