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This blog began as a site dedicated to film criticism – hence the web address draperonfilm.com – however, as my interests have developed and metamorphosed since its birth in 2014, it has begun addressing historical, political and local matters in addition to cinematic material. I have spent a lot of time working on the history of Tyneside and North East England, focusing on its people, institutions and works of film and television (see the Toon on Television series). I have looked at political figures such as Joseph Cowen and T. Dan Smith, as well as commenting on the development of popular Geordie identity throughout history. In recent weeks, writing fiction has become the new challenge that I have imposed on myself. Please subscribe to the blog if you wish to read more!
A note on critical practice and the blog’s approach to films :
I would hope that through these pages I follow Noël Carroll’s belief that ‘the nature of criticism is to evaluate artworks – to discover what is valuable or worthy of attention in artworks and to explain why this is so’. And that through ‘description, elucidation, classification, contextualisation, interpretation, and/or analysis’, film criticism can assist readers, and myself, to understand what is interesting/valuable/of use within works of art. Whether or not this blog fulfils these purposes I leave up to the reader.
While I am interested in mainstream and Hollywood cinema, it seems obvious to me that I have shied away from these areas in favour of art cinema, and have been biased in this way for some time. I originally planned the blog to focus on the films which I saw as the most interesting, those which I had the least reservations about the quality of the content, and that fulfil my desire for realism. Yet I realise, this has limited the content explored, something which I am working on to alter. It is my belief that most films have something interesting to offer, and that the job of the critic should be the elucidate these moments, rather than focusing on a film’s poor points. So far, I have included only one purely negative review, which – although it appears to be one of my most popular posts – I have reservations about. Any comments from readers in relation to the types of film discussed, would of course be useful in improving this site.
The only thing left to say is: hope you enjoying reading my posts as much as I do writing them.
All posts by Tom Draper. Graduate of Longbenton Community College, University of Warwick (BA) and Durham University (MA).