‘A labour of love that was worth every minute. Sharp, sophisticated film-reviewing.’  (James King, Radio One)


Welcome to Cinefile, a lifelong project to map my film experience and share my reflections with others who share my passion for cinema.

With only 7,000-odd titles so far, Cinefile cannot hope to offer you the same breadth as IMDb (see LINKS).  If it’s information you are after, that is certainly still the place to go.  However, what I can promise is greater depth of analysis and a historical approach which sets the film in its context.  What I have tried to do is strike an objective tone and avoid the informality of much online reviewing; if the results are too academic for your taste then I make no apologies!

Another advantage of Cinefile over other online review sources is consistency: you know I have written all the material, yep, typed out every sorry word of it, and so you will be able to take that into account in appraising your own responses, for like it or not I am bound to yield to the odd predilection and aversion.


I started making lists when I was about eleven, about the time I learnt to type and desperately needed something to type up.  Before too long the lists became chronological, hence the historical angle: you have to strike a balance between judging a film by the standards of its time and against how well it has stood the test of time.  At university I started keeping a diary of personal reactions, which became gradually more academic until Cinefile as a Works database was born in around 1995 thanks to a pupil, Ben Lamb (here’s to you, Ben, if you are reading this).  Even now there are gaps but I am making progress in filling in missing write ups of long seen films.  The final breakthrough in 2012 has seen Cinefile move online, with the invaluable help and expertise of another pupil, Nick Rogers.

Site content

The bulk of the site is of course the Cinefile film guide, but I shall be adding postings from time to time and using it to publish my other writings.  Happy browsing and let me know what you think!

David Clare, 29/2/2012

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