Diana @ Spotlight on Film, film & literature critic, writer, explorer, traveller

Spotlight on Film

  • Watch diversely,
  • Think critically,
  • Feel deeply.

Dear Reader,

Welcome! I’m Diana! Let’s Connect!

🎥 Spotlight on Film (previously dbmoviesblog) is a film site with a difference – it aims to inspire and empower film audience one post at a time. I write critical reviews of films of different kind: old and new, and in English and in foreign language, covering various genres, including drama, thriller, science-fiction, period drama, adventure, horror and animation (see my film archive). I strive for complete objectivity and truth in my reviews, and generally prefer films with deep psychological or existential-philosophical character studies, or with the theme of society vs. the individual. Due to my interest in world cultures, as well as my native Russian and advanced Spanish language skills, I also love exploring foreign-language cinema, and am currently exploring films from France and Japan.

My background is law (I possess Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics, and University College London respectively), my other interests are literature, travel, art, music, anthropology, history of psychiatry, and yoga, and I write on films since 2011. Cinema has been a big part of my life since my early childhood, and, since that time, my passion for it has only grown. I believe in the power of cinema, in its transformative nature, and in its capability to change lives and the world through enabling people to think critically and feel deeply about what they see on screen.

I use a 5-star rating on my website, with ★★★★★ – being a truly great film, and – being a rather bad “film” effort. Most films will fall somewhere in between.

🎥 My favourite directors include:

Andrei Tarkovsky

Yasujirō Ozu

Robert Bresson

Jean Renoir, &

Alfred Hitchcock.

🎥 My favourite films include:

Pre-1970s: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Late Spring (1949), Dairy of a Country Priest (1951), Ikiru (1952), Tokyo Story (1953), La Strada (1954), The Cranes Are Flying (1957), Ivan’s Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), & Rosemary’s Baby (1968).

Post-1970s: Solaris (1972), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), The English Patient (1996), In the Mood for Love (2000), Mulholland Drive (2001), & Phantom Thread (2017).

For my opinion of the world’s greatest films, check out my list here: 10 Greatest Films. It is inspired by the S&S Magazine poll that takes place every 10 years, with hundreds of film critics and directors participating.

Cinema is not only entertaining, it is a true seventh art, having much importance by inspiring the audience, as well as introducing them to different points of view, history, culture and social themes. As Martin Scorsese so astutely put it: “Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life-time…”