shadows q&aAbout Shadows
A brief history...

A B O U T :

A film is more than mere celluloid that has been
exposed to light. It’s what happens to that celluloid
when light is applied again, casting shadows on the wall.

talk back to Shadows...

R I C H   C L I N E   &   S H A D O W S
Shadows on the Wall is the UK's first film ezine, published electronically since March 1995. But its origins go back much further....

A journalist by training, Rich Cline has been obsessed with cinema since he was about 8 years old. Born in Los Angeles, Rich moved with his family to Quito, Ecuador, at age 12, graduating from an international school then returning to Southern California for university. He earned a bachelor of arts in communication arts and journalism.

While a student, he started writing film reviews for a local weekly newspaper, but after graduation he had to get real, paying jobs as a graphic artist, copywriter and as a writer-editor for two international charity organisations.

Shadows on the Wall was first published in Los Angeles in September 1985 for a readership of 120. Even then the readers were located all across North, South and Central America; the Far and Middle East; Africa; Central Asia; and Western and Eastern Europe.

Rich continued publishing Shadows as a newsletter while living in Miami for six years and after he moved to England in May 1992. The Shadows ezine made its debut in March 1995; this website went online in October 1996. Over the following years, Shadows expanded to social media with the blog Shadows on the Web, Shadows on the Wall at Facebook, @shadowsrich at X, and @ukcline at Instagram, Letterboxd and Threads.

Shadows is free, but you can help support it at Ko-fi.

shadows blog   kofi    instagram   letterboxd   twitter   facebook   shadows on threads



online film critics society

Rotten Tomatoes Approved Critic

the critics' code
P R O F E S S I O N A L   S T U F F
critics' circle, est 1913

Rich Cline is the chair of the London Film Critics' Circle, which has 180 of the UK's top critics as members, and heads up the annual London Critics' Circle Film Awards. He's also a member of the Theatre and Dance sections of the Critics' Circle. A Tomatometer-approved critic at Rotten Tomatoes, he is also a voting member of the Golden Globes, Galeca's Dorian TV & Film Awards, Fipresci and Online Film Critics Society.

Jury duty: He was on Fipresci juries at Thessaloniki 2019, Abu Dhabi 2014, Berlin 2009 and Torino 2006, and on the Venice Queer Lion jury in 2016, 2017 and 2022. He served as jury president at Bifan 2023 in Korea and London East Asia Film Festival 2022, and as a jury member for the Iris Prize 2010 in Cardiff and the St Louis Film Festival's New Filmmakers Forum 1999, 2000 and 2001.

He is a regular film critic for BBC radio and television and contributes to a variety of print and online outlets. His work as a critic, writer, editor and broadcaster has appeared in publications (Metro, Evening Standard, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Heat, Grazia, The Face, What's On London, The List, Boyz, QX, Idea, First, Take 1, Naviga*tor, Man About Town, North Coast Journal), radio (LBC, Century FM, Classic Gold, HCJB), TV (Channel 4, NBC/Bravo, Five, Sky News, PressTV) and online (Film4, Rotten Tomatoes, Movies1, LondonLivingLarge, Movies4Kids, Film Threat, IndieWire, Contactmusic, IGN, Gay Essential, LGNews, Film Focus, Real Movie News, Filmnet).

When not watching films or writing about them, Rich is a freelance journalist, editor, proofreader, lecturer and designer. He covers film, theatre, dance, museums, concerts and events, and also worked as a journalist at eight Olympic Games and a range of world sporting championships on six continents.

Criticism may be unnecessary. It is certainly inefficient.
But it is the only antidote we have to paid publicity.


Ambivalence isn’t neutrality; it’s the simultaneity of strong, opposed emotions.

CV >

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S T A T E M E N T   O F   I N T E N T

Shadows on the Wall
November 1985

  1. As an art form, film must accurately reflect our society if it is to teach us anything. I can't expect film characters to hold my moral standards any more than I can expect that of someone on the street. But I can look for overriding moral statements.
  2. Look at all aspects of a film: direction, acting, writing, pacing, lighting, editing, etc., including entertainment value. I'm seeking cinematic excellence, creativity and originality.
  3. Remember that it's just a movie. All of it. True stories are dramatised and documentaries can be slanted. Movies are not the stuff of life, just someone's opinion of it.
  4. Don't choose to see a film based on one person's statements. Even critics are only stating their opinion, nothing more. I may disagree with others entirely.
  5. Don't reject or select a film based on its rating. Find out why it got that rating. There are fine, uplifting R-rated films, and atrocious, immoral G-rated ones. These classifications are not a reliable indicator of film content, merely a small group's opinion. (NB. In the US the Motion Picture Association of America rates films G, PG, PG-13, R or NC-17. The British Board of Film Classification certifies films U, PG, 12A, 15 or 18.)

A S K   A N Y T H I N G

© 1985-2021 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall