There are lots of sites about movies. Bright Wall/Dark Room is a different lens on film: no hot takes, no hype, no movie news, no clickbait, no “content,” no pop-ups, no ads.

Bright Wall/Dark Room is an online magazine devoted to looking at what happens when we bring our whole selves to the movies. It’s about the relationship between films and individual human beings, between cinema and the business of being alive. Whether we’re watching in a theater or a living room, we’re each just a brain in a body looking at a bright wall in a dark room. BW/DR is where we go to talk about what happened there.

BW/DR is also a gathering place for writers and readers who want to look more humanly at film. We’re your old neighborhood video store, the one you miss because the employees would talk for hours if you let them, riffing on films you’d heard of and recommending films you hadn’t. We publish work by filmmakers and cinephiles and film studies students, but also by comedians and novelists and painters and poets.

We seek out thoughtful analysis and wholehearted engagement. We’re a home for film writing that you won’t find anywhere else on the web: we’re not afraid to go long, to dive deep, to look close; to dig into filmmaking and film theory, but also to get messy and vulnerable and human, to explore nuance and mystery. Each month, we publish work around a theme, so we’re never slaves to the current release schedule or news cycle. We certainly publish work on new releases, but we also have the freedom to dig into all of film history: from Old Hollywood to New Hollywood, from German Expressionism to Italian Neorealism to the Hong Kong Second Wave. We also run longform interviews with filmmakers that feel like warm, human conversations, rather than hitting the familiar entertainment-news beats.

The goal is to engage with all that movies are, in fresh and interesting ways: with warmth and affection, with thought and care, with our brains and our hearts.

As more and more entertainment sites look for ways to maximize profits at the expense of writing and editing, there are fewer and fewer good homes for quality writing on the arts. We want to be one of them.

And we can (literally) only make it happen with your help and support, because we eschew all the traditional ways that sites like ours tend to make money. Because we believe there’s a better way. We don’t run ads or receive any outside funding; we’re 100% independent, and entirely funded by your subscriptions and patronage.

Thanks for your support! If you’re looking to further support our ongoing mission, you can do so here.


Chad Perman – Editor-in-Chief

Lauren Wilford – Senior Editor

Zosha Millman – Senior Editor

Katherine Webb – Senior Editor

Christopher Fraser – Operations Manager

Brianna Ashby – Illustrator

Tony Stella – Illustrator

Kelsey Ford – Associate Editor

Elisabeth Geier – Associate Editor

Ethan Warren – Associate Editor

Ryan Stevenson – Associate Editor

Fran Hoepfner – Editor-at-Large

Karina Wolf – Editor-at-Large



I’m a new subscriber! How do I sign up?

Head here!

How do I manage my subscription?

Head here and log in with the same username and password you used to sign up for a subscription.

What are your subscription plans?

Subscriptions are $3 a month, or $25 annually (with the first year being just $20), and managed through Tinypass. Subscribing grants you full access to our entire back catalog, as well as complimentary ebook editions of every issue and instant access to new issues as they come out.

Alternatively, you can purchase ebook editions of individual issues for $2.99 each by clicking the “Buy ebook” link on each issue page. Regrettably, we can’t offer web access to individual issues at this time.

We also now offer full site access through our Patreon, which comes with some additional perks & rewards, like monthly film recommendations from our staff—personalized just for you and your tastes—as well as the chance to select a film for us to write about in an upcoming issue.

I subscribed on the new site, but I don’t have access. Help!

Contact us and we’ll figure out what’s going on.

I subscribed through Stripe – what do I need to do?

  • Nothing! We’ll be synchronizing Stripe account data to the new site, and you should have received an email prompting you to sign up here. If you haven’t, let us know.
  • If you subscribed at $1.99 a month or $19.99 annually, your lower price will remain the same for as long as you’re an active subscriber.

I’m a subscriber through Patreon – will I still have access here?

For as long as you’re a patron, you’ll still have access to the site. You should receive an email soon after pledging, prompting you to create an account here.

I should have access, but don’t. Help!

Get in touch and we’ll figure it out.


How do I get ebook editions of Bright Wall/Dark Room?

There are two ways. If you’re a subscriber, you’ll get automatic complimentary access to ebook editions of every issue we’ve ever produced – just look for the link that says “Download ebook” under the thumbnail of each issue over on our issues page. Alternatively, if you’re not a subscriber and just want to buy one issue, you should see a link to buy the ebook edition of the magazine – either here or on the Kindle store – in the same spot.

Okay, I’ve got it. Now how do I read it?

Depends on your preference! To read the PDF issue on your computer, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader or a third-party PDF reader (Windows 10 comes with one built in, aptly called Reader). As for your handheld devices, here are a few useful links:

If you get really stuck, get in touch and we should be able to point you in the right direction.

How do I write for you?

Check out our Submissions page.