Ashley Clarke is an experienced journalist, critic and curator. He is the curatorial director of the Criterion Collection, and previously served as the director of film programming at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vulture, 4Columns, The Guardian, Sight & Sound, and Reverse Shot. He is the author of Facing Blackness: Media and Minstrelsy in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (2015). He has also written and spoken extensively about films and the history of film, broadcasting and television. He is a frequent guest on radio and TV shows, and has moderated panels and Q&As at BAM, MoMA, and other venues.
He has contributed essays to several book publications, and he has presented on film at universities including NYU, Columbia, Brown, University of Sussex, and the British Film Institute. He has curated numerous film seasons and events, most recently the retrospective Black Star: The Cinema of Spike Lee (BFI Southbank, Oct-Dec 2016) and the film series Behind the Mask: Bamboozled in Focus at BAM in 2020. He has also written liner notes for the Blu-ray editions of Lee’s Do The Right Thing and Bamboozled.
Ashley was born by the seaside in Grimsby, England and moved to London in 2005, where he continues to work as a freelance writer, editor and film programmer. In addition to his film work, he has written about fashion and feminism for The Independent and Ponystep Magazine and is currently learning Japanese.
After his debut as a member of the band Sons of Sylvia in 2010, Ashley Clarke seemed like a promising up-and-coming country newcomer when their first album hit 33 on the Billboard charts and they were Carrie Underwood’s opening act. But it was the success of the single “Greyhound” that propelled him into the spotlight and made him a country superstar.