Matthew Clayfield is a journalist, critic and screenwriter.


From Jamestown to Mount Martha

You can see it from the Mule Yard, the only bar in Jamestown, Saint Helena, that happens to be open every day. It’s more prominent at low tide than high, a steering column jutting out […]


Boston bombing explored by Masha Gessen in ‘The Tsarnaev Brothers’

On April 15, 2013, two pressure-cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than two hundred and sixty. The media—mainstream and citizen, offline and on—went into […]

May, 30 · in Books,Criticism

Happy 100th birthday to a film legend

Back in my film student days, I set myself an immodest goal: I would write and direct my first feature film by the age of twenty-six. The number wasn’t chosen at random: Orson Welles was […]

May, 06

Vietnam War correspondents reunite to honour the fall of Saigon

Correspondents who covered the fall of Saigon gathered on a rooftop bar in Ho Chi Minh City last Wednesday to honour the fortieth anniversary of the end of a war that made many of their […]

May, 04

A place beyond the pages

I started Graham Greene’s The Quiet American in my room on Ho Chi Minh City’s Bùi Viện backpacker strip. I probably should have started it at the Hotel Continental, where Thomas Fowler first meets Alden […]

May, 04

Forty years on, what can a war book teach us?

In January, Picador reissued Michael Herr’s classic book on the Vietnam War, Dispatches, and with today marking the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon now seems the perfect time to revisit the book’s pyrotechnic […]

Apr, 30

Forty years after the fall of Saigon, a visit to Ho Chi Minh City’s war museum

Has it really been forty years since there wasn’t enough room on the last chopper out? The streets of Ho Chi Minh City are, if not exactly festooned, then at least rather heavily decorated with […]

Apr, 17

While I am lucky enough to get paid for my work, independent foreign correspondence remains very expensive to produce. Please consider donating a few dollars to help me with my upcoming projects.
  • "Talk about feeling [...] cast adrift in the home of the free." @nickgillespie on the gag order against @reason.
  • I do not advise freelance journalism as an early career choice.
  • Started SUBURGATORY years ago, drifted off and only came back to it recently. Just finished. Shame it was cancelled as it was improving.