Articles · Newcastle and North East · UK Politics

Four Visions of T. Dan Smith

History has not been kind to T. Dan Smith (1915-1993). Every hole in Newcastle’s 19th century architecture, every ugly building ever assembled in the city, has become the work of that notorious Labour leader of the City Council (1960-1965), Mr Dan Smith. Smith, it is said, not only destroyed significant portions of our architectural heritage… Continue reading Four Visions of T. Dan Smith

Newcastle and North East · UK Politics

Joseph Cowen: Geordie Entrepreneur, Politician and Radical

At the foot of Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, stands a bronze statue of Joseph Cowen (1829-1900), strategically placed to remind contemporary Geordies of his extraordinary influence as they travel up towards the Tyne Theatre and Opera House which was designed and operated under his guidance. Cowen dominated Tyneside politics between the years 1850-1900, as… Continue reading Joseph Cowen: Geordie Entrepreneur, Politician and Radical

Film Reviews

Victoria and the Virtues of the Long Take

  Before I watched Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2015), I had a quick look at its publicity. The poster and trailer emphasise both its tag line ‘One City. One Night. One Take’ and critical infatuation with its considerable technical achievement: the single 134-minute take which encompasses the entirety of the film’s action and its running time.… Continue reading Victoria and the Virtues of the Long Take

In Conversation

British Cinema: Northern Realism vs. Southern Splendour? In Conversation with Tom Jackson

  Earlier today, I spoke to Tom Jackson about a few British films. Here is the transcript of our recorded conversation: Tom Draper: Unlike our previous talk ‘Documentary Ethics and Aesthetics’ which looked at how a few contemporary documentaries experiment with the form and methods of documentary practice, today we are going to discuss British… Continue reading British Cinema: Northern Realism vs. Southern Splendour? In Conversation with Tom Jackson

Film Reviews

The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-Hsien) and Youth (Paolo Sorrentino)

Hou Hsiao-Hsien is one of those legendary names cinephiles have come to know as one of the world’s greatest contemporary directors, most likely without ever seeing one of his films. He is written about in such glowing terms that it is near certain that he will be remembered in the pantheon alongside Yasujirō Ozu, the… Continue reading The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-Hsien) and Youth (Paolo Sorrentino)