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Teen Movie Critic

Farewell to the Original Teen Movie Critic

We at the Dream Machine are sad to announce the retirement of Roger Davidson, The Teen Movie Critic. In the period of slightly more than two years he has appeared in this space, he has written over 600 movie reviews. He has made every deadline and met every challenge thrown his way during that period. We are proud to have been his publishers and wish him the best of luck in whatever further adventures life offers him. He has prepared a farewell page (below) to express his feelings at this time.

We have decided to leave all the material on the Web as a movie review archive, as an historical record of the early years of the World Wide Web and as a possible inspiration for other teenagers around the world to get creatively involved with the Internet. Roger has agreed to continue to help us smooth out some of the rough edges on his site, to add cross linkages among the many subjects touched upon and to answer email from you, his loyal fans. Currently he is seeking new horizons to cross and we are seeking a publisher who might be interested in turning Roger's and our experiences with his site into a book. We feel that a combination of the "visible" material available in his site and the "behind the scenes" activity connected with its construction, will make a compelling and valuable addition to the world of print and to the history of the WWW.

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Roy Schieder: "What's going to happen?"

Keir Dullea: "Something Wonderful!" - from the movie 2010

I've never had a harder time trying to find the words for what I want to say about this moment. I've got many mixed feelings. On the one hand, I feel that a burden has been lifted from my shoulders. On the other hand, I have the silly feeling that perhaps my life may be over at 18. And still I have one other feeling left over. One that is stronger than most of my other feelings. I feel content.

That's not a feeling that is common in a teen's life, but that's what I have. I feel content that I've given a positive view of what a teenager can do on the Net. I feel content that I was able to share my opinions with so many people, many of whom wrote from all corners of the globe. But most importantly, I feel content simply because of the possiblity that I left a lasting impression on so many people. This is surprising to me, since two years ago at about this time of year, I felt I was lucky enough to reach at least ten people a week, let alone the hundreds of thousands I've encountered since I was picked to appear on Netscape's What's Cool list in May of 1995.

I have had the pleasure of talking to some of the most creative and talented people in the world, some who should be more well-known then they are. I can't exactly point out what the crowning event of my life as Teen Movie Critic has been. Was it meeting John Singleton? No, though it was certainly significant, it doesn't even come close. Was it debating Roger Ebert on the radio when I was 16? Not by a long shot. It was the entire short career that was a great achievement for me. Not one particular event. Why hell, the whole experience seemed like a series of woderful and surprising events the entire time I was on the Web, from the first time I wrote words for the Web to this very letter I write now.

I set out to prove that Teens (who didn't have as big a voice on the Net when I went on as they do now) could be creative and intelligent, and disprove the nonsense of teens as being Clueless or Slackers. My semi-revolutionary stance has dimmed with time. More recently, I did it more for the pure enjoyment of doing it. I fear most modern critics (they of the acid-tongued cynicism and intellectual insults) have long since lost that enjoyment in their job. Perhaps I will too. I admit that I won't be criticising for awhile on the Net, and my days as a teenager are diminishing rapidly. But even though I've been bummed about my job and suffered severe writer's block at times, I still had one hell of a time once I got my brain going again. Even those troubling times could be characterized as exciting and interesting times in my life.

In closing, I ask that those of you who wish to write, to criticise or "prophesize with your pen" as the legendary Bob Dylan once sang, then I think you should give it a whirl. If you have the talent for it, don't let ANYONE try to stifle it. I've learned that the Net is the perfect starting field for young, upcoming writers. It's the perfect way for you to introduce your talents to a world that is just starving for information and excitement. You can be those people, who can teach others new and wondrous things and perhaps learn some incredible things in return. For good or bad, better or worse, the Net is where things are at at the moment. Despite what people say about people who hang around on the Net, the Web has made the world a much wider, wonderful, magical world than it ever was. I was happy to be a part of it and I'm glad to have shared some of the magic. I hope that someday, we'll all have some magic to share with one another.

Roger Joseph Davidson,
Now and Forever.

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