If you’ve been reading FlickFilosopher.com since the early days — you know, since back in the 20th century — you may remember that for a while, I was partnered up with another film review site, Film Geek, whose resident critic, Rick Ferguson, and I, were likeminded enough that even our frequent disagreements over films made for intriguing contrasts. We had similar approaches to watching movies and to talking about movies, and a similar, if I may say so myself, snarky and smart-but-casual style. Rick was one of the first people I invited onboard when I instigated Cinemarati in the summer of 2000.
And then Rick disappeared from the Net, and someone else snatched up his URL (filmgeek.com), and I got, over the intervening years, numerous emails from people wondering just where the hell Rick had gone, and I had no answer.
(For those of you unfamiliar with the legend that was and is Rick, know that he was awarded The Pauline Kael Memorial Award for Excellence in Film Criticism by FilmSnobs.com a while back.)
Rick is back now, has been posting since February 2005 at his new film-review blog Mr. Fabulous. The blog has, alas, not been updated in months now, as Rick has decided to go all grownup on us, acquiring a mortgage and a spouse and a real job with important responsibilities and such. I don’t see the appeal of that myself, but to each his own. (Rick explains here a bit about his long absence from the Web and his current situation.)
The real news is this: for all the years that I’ve known Rick online, we’ve never met in person… until this past week, when he was in NYC (on business relating to that real job with important responsibilities, not just on a pilgrimage to meet yours truly) and we had a long lunch over which we consumed mass quantities of wine and discussed the state of geek culture and the fate of online film criticism and our disappointments with where slaving over Web sites has taken us (or not taken us, as the case may be) and where the future of the Net may yet direct us. We discovered no grand new wisdoms and came to no meaningful conclusions about anything, but it was a fascinating and enlightening conversation nevertheless.
But Rick did reveal that he has managed to reacquire the filmgeek.com domain, and though there’s nothing at the URL yet, he is in the middle of some impressive planning for reactivating the site and turning it into something bigger and better than it ever was before.
I, of course, always have astonishingly cool ideas about things to do on the Web that, as soon as they add another eight hours to every day, I fully intend on implementing.
Rick, on the other hand, will, I’m sure, make a dramatic go of Film Geek again. I have no doubt that all his old readers will come flocking back, and that he will readily add many more, because for all the many, many voices online taking about film, most of them aren’t very good.
So go bug him over at Mr. Fabulous and insist he get his priorities straight. He can hire some neighborhood kid to mow his lawn or paint his porch, but his voice is irreplaceable. We need him back online.