Or, as the title says, I’m still glow-basking. Last night, I attended a film talk with three of the main members of CALF Animation, a recently formed independent animation collective in Japan. Beyond being a great discussion and a chance to hear from Mizue Mirai, Doi Nobuaki, and Nagata Takeshi in person, it meant that I was suddenly sitting in a room with two people I have ‘known’ through the internet for ages but have never met in real life.
Although I didn’t realize it before sitting down and pulling out my laptop to take notes, the film talk was being moderated by Cathy Munroe Hotes, whose blog Nishikata Film Review I have been following since I attended the Kyoto Media Arts Festival last fall. And then, when they opened it up to questions from the floor, JASPER SHARP raised his hand. I actually wrote in my notes:
“I AM IN THE SAME ROOM AS JASPER SHARP!!!!!!!!”
He is a major contributor to KineJapan, but more importantly, the mastermind of Midnight Eye, which is basically THE online Japanese Cinema journal/website. I’ve been reading it for ages, I’ve cited him in papers…so realizing I was within 15 feet of its illustrious author was a bit like seeing Justin Bieber last month, only way more academic and legit. The excitement one can have over finally encountering the index of someone’s digital self, of seeing someone in real life who you had only ever conceived of through the means of the internet and virtual interactions, reflects in a very interesting way on the post-modern sort-of-dichotomy between digital and ‘real’ selves — or rather, the inescapable intertwining of the two.
So, having seen Jasper Sharp and Cathy Munroe Hotes, now to find Tom Mes, who also runs Midnight Eye and is as iconic in my mind as Jasper Sharp, is one of the jury members for the competing films here. I haven’t seen him yet, but I’ve got a day and a half left…for SO MUCH GEEKING OUT.