I first started reviewing movies for Sight & Sound magazine in the Autumn of 1998, just after my first book Alan Clarke was published. Actually I'd never much fancied the idea of reviewing: I just wanted to write a long piece about Warren Beatty's movie Bulworth which was due for release around then too. In order to do so at S&S (no other outlet would have me at that point) I had to first earn my spurs by synopsizing and commenting on a few other new releases that I was less keen on. So I did that, got to do my Bulworth piece (it was less than I hoped...), and carried on reviewing duties there for a further 9 years. As they say on CBBC's Me Too, where did the time go?
I see that some of those old reviews have been archived at the BFI site, and some of them still read ok. I include links as follows so you can decide for yourself. I speak of ones I did on the Brad Pitt version of The Iliad, Troy, Paul Greengrass's Bloody Sunday, Michael Winterbottom's In This World, Le Fils by the Dardenne brothers, and Like Father by Newcastle's Amber collective. Above all I'm glad I got to write about The Darkest Light by Simon Beaufoy and Bille Eltringham, which is an absolute treasure of a movie that ought to be far better known and celebrated.