About Us

Portland Film Review was founded in January 2017.

Nathan Modlin

Co-founder, editor, contributing writer

Focuses: Film adaptations; international film (German, Austrian, French); Jewish film; film theory

Nathan Modlin (he/him/his) is a writer and critic from Portland, OR. He is interested in international film, especially German, Austrian, and French, and in the intersection between film and literature. In addition to writing reviews of a wide range of films, from Coco (2017) to BlacKkKlansman (2018), Nathan has published critical articles on Scorsese’s auteur theory, the ethics of representation, and why there’s no such thing as “high” cinema.

His favorite films include The Third Man (1949), Rear Window (1954),  Les 400 Coups (1959), The Trial (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), Chinatown (1974), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Mulan (1998), and Les Intouchables (2011).

Nathan is currently a PhD candidate in German literature at the University of Chicago, and has previously studied at Reed College and the Universities of Vienna, Tübingen, and Oxford. His research has been supported by a Fulbright Combined Grant. He has also published a translation in Plain Sight.

Jane Vaughan

Co-founder, editor, contributing writer

Focuses: The role of gender; contemporary film; documentaries; interviews with local filmmakers


Jane Vaughan (she/her/hers) is a journalist from Portland, ME. She is interested in studying the role of gender in film and often writes about contemporary films, including documentaries. She is fascinated by how and why stories are told and how experiences and emotions are conveyed, whether that be through art, text, or film. Her reviews include Unbelievable (2019), Midsommar (2019), and Free Solo (2018). In addition, she enjoys conducting interviews with local filmmakers, including Juliette Sutherland and Kendra Smith.

Jane’s favorite films include No Country for Old Men (2007), The Fighter (2010), True Grit (2010), Nightcrawler (2014), Spotlight (2015), Manchester by the Sea (2016), and The Hours (2002).

Jane is currently a fellow at New Hampshire Public Radio. She previously studied at Wellesley College and the University of Oxford.

Devin McGrath-Conwell

Editor, contributing writer
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Hello there! My name is Devin McGrath-Conwell, and while I am not from Portland I grew up in Saco, Maine just a short drive away. My first love was literature, but once I found movies that was it. Stories told in frames and scenes taken from some of my favorite books – it is a joy that never grows old. Yet, I could never choose just one, so I was a Film and Media Culture & English and American Literature double major at Middlebury College in Vermont, trying to find the perfect ways to tell stories both with a keyboard and a camera. I am currently a faculty member in the Humanities Department at St. George’s School in Middletown, RI where I teach courses on American Literature, film, and other forms of media. While it’s always an impossible task to just name a few, some of my favorite works include Casablanca (1942), Diabolique (1955), The Birds (1963), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), Blue Velvet (1986), A Fish Called Wanda (1988),  L.A. Confidential (1997), The Prestige (2006), Hot Fuzz (2007), The Nice Guys (2016), Arrival (2016), and Twin Peaks: The Return (2017).

Devin has written reviews on Wonder Woman (2017), It (2017), and The Shape of Water (2017), thinkpieces on learning to love horror films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and co-directed his own short film, Locally Sourced (2019).

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