Film criticism; aesthetics, especially evaluation and appreciation; philosophy of criticism; film interpretation; the close analysis of film style; film performance; the methodology and pedagogy of film study.
I am particularly interested in the processes involved when we evaluate the form and style of films, and I have recently published a monograph entitled Aesthetic evaluation and film which provides an examination of aesthetic philsophy as it relates to evaluative criticism in general and to film in particular. The monograph advocates that aesthetic evaluation should be flexibly informed by a cluster of concerns including medium, convention, prominence, pattern and relation; and rather than privileging a particular theory or film style, it models a type of approach, attention, process and discourse.
Relatedly, I am currently researching the methodology of 'ordinary language philosophy' in order to explain an approach to film study that while philosophically informed is non-theoretical (in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s understanding). The first part of this work can be found in Aesthetic Investigations Vol 3. No. 2 2020. A longer version which includes more extensive reference and commentary in notes can be found at my academia.edu page. The second part is forthcoming in Philosophy of Film Without Theory (Fox and Harrison eds; Palgrave Macmillan) and will look at the problems, from an ordinary language philosophy perspective, with the theoretical approach utilised by contemporary analytic film philosophy.
Film aesthetics and criticism; close reading; film form, style, interpretation and evaluation; history and philosophy of criticism.
I am interested in Doctoral supervision related to any of my areas of teaching and research especially projects rooted in close analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of film form and style, and which adopt a non-theoretical approach.
I have supervised to completion Doctoral theses on Intricacy and Intimacy in Contemporary US Cinema, The Body in Physical Comedy, The Interiority of the Unknown Woman in Film, Achieving Female Presence on Film, Testing Coherence in Narrative Film, and Complicating Articulation in Narrative Film.
MSt in Film Aesthetics
I co-covene Oxford University's one year Master's Degree in Film Aesthetics. Many film screenings for the degree take place in St Anne's College, and the college particularly welcomes film applicants.
I am on the editorial board of the relaunched MOVIE: A Journal of Film Criticism. The relaunch is a joint project between the Universities of Warwick, Reading and Oxford.
Series Editor (with Prof. Catherine Constable): Palgrave Film Studies and Philosophy.
Advisory Boards: Film-Philosophy Journal; Mise-en-scene: The Journal of Film and Visual Narration; Conversations:The
Journal of Cavellian Studies.
BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (University College , University of Oxford, 1991); MA in Film and Television Studies (Department of Film and Television, University of Warwick, 1993); PhD in Film Studies (University of Warwick, 1996); Senior Lecturer in Film Studies (University of Kent, 1996-2007).