Nick James

Nick James is Editor of Sight & Sound.

He studied at St. Martin’s School of Art and was a singer in rock bands from the late 1970s until the mid 80s.

He joined the listings magazine City Limits in 1989 and by 1991 was Editor of the Film Section. James has written on film, literature and art for the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent, US Vogue, Time Out, the London Review of Books and The Literary Review.

His book on Michael Mann’s Heat was published in 2002, and he was the presenter of the BBC documentary British Cinema: The End of the Affair that same year. In 2011 he received the Telluride Film Festival’s special medallion on behalf of Sight & Sound for its outstanding work.

Follow him on Twitter @filmnickjames

Online articles

Cannes Film Festival 2012
The Sight & Sound blog

Follow Nick James and our correspondents on the Croisette. Read the collated entries, or see the index of individual posts. Web exclusive, May 2012

Berlinale 2012 Festival blog

Nick James and S&S contributors report from the unknown quantity that is this year’s Berlin film festival. Web exclusive, February 2012

The films of 2011The films of 2011 Poll

In a strong year for arthouse cinema, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life emerged as the clear winner of the S&S poll of international critics’ best films of 2011, says Nick James. from S&S January 2012

#The Ms-fits Comment

This year’s Best Actress race inspires Nick James’s best clairvoyant impersonation.
Web exclusive, December 2011

Lawrence of BelgraviaIt’s a wrap
London Film Festival blog post

Our writers tally their best discoveries, on- and off-screen moments and personal encounters of the festival.
Web exclusive, October 2011

#Persona non grata: Lars von Trier’s Nazi rebellion Behind the news

Lars von Trier’s controversial outburst in Cannes this year was not entirely out of character, finds Nick James. From S&S October 2011

On the road to Telluride Report

Nick James on bringing home Sight & Sound’s ‘Special Medallion’ from the Telluride Film Festival, “given to a hero of cinema that preserves, honors and presents great movies”. Web exclusive, September 2011

Midnight Sun: let there be light Postcard

Nick James investigates a wonderful blend of cinema and mild carousing with luminaries including Aki Kaurismäki, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Atom Egoyan and cinematographer Michael Chapman.
Web exclusive, June 2011

Cannes Film Festival 2011
The Sight & Sound blog

Follow Nick James and our correspondents on the Croisette. Web exclusive, May 2011

San Francisco filmgrimage:
Falling from Nob Hill

Nick James takes the Vertigo tour.
Web exclusive, May 2011

The Rotterdam conundrum Postcard

It used to a festival that prided itself on bringing to light overlooked world cinema curios but not any longer. Nick James ponders what’s going wrong at Rotterdam.
Web exclusive, February 2011

Peter Yates, 1929-2011 Obituary

Transatlantic genre specialist, from Summer Holiday to Bullitt and The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Web exclusive, January 2011

The films of 2010The films of 2010 Poll

The Social Network and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives head our round-up of the films and highlights of the year, as voted by 85 critics and curators. from S&S January 2011

Journals and RemarksIt’s a wrap: we tally our festival experiences
London Film Festival blog post

The Sight & Sound team sum up their best discoveries, on- and off-screen moments and personal encounters of the festival. Web exclusive, October 2010

Venice: storm in a bottle Postcard

After Miike Takashi’s ferocious 13 Assassins, this year’s festival ended on the lows of Monte Hellman’s Road to Nowhere and Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, says Nick James. Web exclusive, September 2010

Venice: waft breezily Postcard

Nick James enjoys the momentum of new films from Larraine, Ozon, Reichert, Woo and Hark.
Web exclusive, September 2010

Sarajevo: changing trains Postcard

Nick James writes home from a friendly, growing Sarajevo Film Festival. Web exclusive, July 2010

The end of prestige? Comment

The UK Film Council may be dead. Miramax is pensioned off. Nick James reads the entrails of ‘quality’ cinema in the Digital Age. Web exclusive, August 2010

Peter Brunette, 1944–2010 Obituary

Nick James remembers the late writer, critic and professor. Web exclusive, August 2010

#Alberto Cavalcanti: Britain’s secret Brazilian Feature

More than any director bar Hitchcock, Cavalcanti had a profound influence on British filmmaking in the 1930s and 40s. But he remains an unjustly overlooked figure, says Nick James. From S&S August 2010

Rough cuts Comment

Nick James reacts to news of the abolition of the UK Film Council, and warns against axing our already struggling art-film sector. Web exclusive, July 2010

The best film booksThe best film books Survey

Which are the best five books about film ever written? This was the question Sight & Sound asked leading critics and the results might surprise you. Revealing his ideal film bookshelf, Nick James introduces our special poll. from S&S June 2010

Cannes: big stories, or the bigger picture? Postcard

This year’s Cannes mounted a fine survey of the art of modern cinema, writes Nick James.
Web exclusive, May 2010

Cannes: doom, chills and bewilderment Postcard

Nick James finds abnormal life in Cannes’ second-string selection. Web exclusive, May 2010

Cannes: time for TV? Postcard

Nick James finds respite from a predictable programme in Olivier Assayas’ television epic Carlos.
Web exclusive, May 2010

Cannes: brotherly love Postcard

Nick James sees a gentle tide for Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men. Web exclusive, May 2010

Film still: A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle ShopBerlinale: We have the stars Postcard

Nick James wonders if dreaming of a festival without instant ratings is asking for the moon. Web exclusive, February 2010

#Syndromes of a new century Poll

How have the first ten years of the 21st century changed cinema? From Argentina to Romania, from Almodóvar to Weerasethakul, Nick James introduces our selection of the 30 key films of the past decade. From S&S February 2010

Smoke gets in your eyesRotterdam: Smoke gets in your eyes Postcard

James Benning’s slow-gaze Ruhr provides sights for Nick James’ sore eyes at Rotterdam. Web exclusive, January 2010

Shoot him againToronto: Shoot him again Report

Returning to Toronto with trepidation, Nick James enjoys Claire Denis’ latest and a Cage-Herzog pairing. Web exclusive, September 2009

#Who needs critics? Survey

Critics need to show more passion and conviction if they’re still to matter in the internet age, argues Nick James. From S&S October 2008

Last Updated: 15 May 2012