Teddy Durgin Crosses The Avenue and Ends Up at the East County Times

Follow eastcountytimes on Twitter

Become a Friend of The East County Times


Click on the paper above to visit our
Digital Edition


Teddy Durgin


by Teddy Durgin

Hello, all of you wonderful East County Times readers! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bond, James Bond. Ah, man, I wish it was. How cool would that be? Alas, I am Teddy Durgin - husband, father, philanthropist and the newly hired movie reviewer of this esteemed publication. And I couldn't be happier. Some of you may know me from my most recent critics gig over at The Avenue News. I covered film for that paper from October 1997 until last month. It was a great run - more like a slow and steady jog actually - but they decided to go in a different direction. That's over and done with. Time to move on, and here I am! A big special thanks to George and Mike Wilbanks, Devin Crum, Linda Mrok, Angie Hess and the rest of the staff at the Times for hiring me and making me feel so welcome! So, who is Teddy Durgin? Hmmm. What you should know about me is that I am a movie lover, first and foremost. I write my reviews as much from a movie fans perspective as a movie critics. I'm 42 years old, which I think is a great age for someone to be covering cinema right now. I am old enough that I can appreciate the finer qualities of films like Hope Springs and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. But I'm also young enough to get into a good Michael Bay blow-em-up or a well-done animated critter story. My system of judging movies is pretty simple. If a comedy made me laugh, I'm going to tell you so whether it was fine, quality smut a la The Hangover or more heady intellectual humor a la Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Similarly, if a horror flick scared me, caused me to jump in my seat, I wont be too cool for school to admit that either. The first film I ever saw in a movie theater was the original Star Wars in 1977. I was 6 years old. Yes, the very first big-screen image that ever seared itself into my brain was Darth Vader's Star Destroyer seemingly flying in from the back of the theater, over my head and into my permanent movie-going imagination. I was hooked. I quickly became part of the Lucas-Spielberg generation who cut their teeth on everything from Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Raiders of the Lost Ark to E.T: The Extra Terrestrial. I then was a teenager in the 1980s, and the movies were there for me in the form of John Hughes marvelous stories of adolescence - specifically Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and so forth. As the 80s gave way to the 1990s, my college days coincided with the emergence of American independent cinema. Once again, the movies matured me and I became a great admirer of filmmakers ranging from Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino to the Coen brothers and many more. So, I've been pretty lucky in how my life has tracked with the cinema, and I am genuinely positive about where motion pictures are headed. I often get asked things like, Will people still be going to the movies 10 or 20 or 30 years from now? They point to things like increasingly affordable home theater setups, soaring box-office ticket prices and increasingly rude and inconsiderate audience members. Despite those negative factors, I believe the movie-going pastime will endure throughout the rest of my life, your life and beyond. There is just something about the communal experience of watching a great film with 200 or 300 other people. Its exciting to share a great plot twist or a big laugh or a truly eye-popping stunt or special effect never before seen on the big screen together with your fellow movie-goer. You absolutely cannot recreate that feeling of shared wonder and entertainment in the home, no matter how big your TV or how loud your surround sound is. To me, movies are journeys. They're like taking great trips for a couple of hours, exploring new locales, time-tripping to other eras. As long as the East County Times will have me, I would like to be on that journey with each of you. And if you make it out to any of the local preview screenings that I attend at White Marsh or Arundel Mills or the Landmark Harbor East, please do not hesitate to stop by press row and introduce yourself. See you at the movies


@2008 East County Times. All Rights Reserved

Phone 410-780-3303 Email Reporting Staff [email protected] Email Art Dept. [email protected] Advertising [email protected]