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About the Movie
CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER launches us into the bittersweet moment when a beloved technology, the typewriter, faces extinction. Delivering a thought-provoking view on the changing dynamic between humans and machines, director and three-time Grammy Award® winner and nominee Doug Nichol explores the mythology attached to the classic typewriter, as cultural historians, collectors and various celebrity obsessives (including Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, and Sam Shepard) celebrate the typewriter both as object and means of summoning the creative spirit. The film culminates in the movingly documented struggle of California Typewriter, one of the last standing repair shops in America dedicated to keeping the aging machines clicking.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 37
- Fresh: 37
- Rotten: 0
- Average Rating: 8.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: This quirky, obsessive documentary is about so much more than broken keys and busted type wheels. It's really about how we create art.
Fresh: Anyone who loves machines, poetry or, better yet, the poetry of machines should see it ...
Fresh: A quaintly ingenious meditation on what the digital era is doing to us - how it has taken us a step away from reality, even as it's made everything easier.
Fresh: A rich, thoughtful, meticulously crafted tapestry about the evolution of the beloved writing machine for purists, history buffs, collectors and others fighting to preserve or re-embrace analog life.
"California Typewriter" is entertaining, smart and fun. And along the way you get to spend time with people you might know and respect: actor Tom Hanks, musician John Mayer, the late great playwright and actor Sam Shepard, prolific writer David McCullough and other nice surprises. Personally I thought the segements with John Mayer resonated the most, maybe just because he's closer to my age. Then again the first bit with Sam Shepard is just perfect. I have an old army green Olympia typewriter and every time I use it the feeling is like being at the top of a snowboard run that's really outside your comfort zone and that precise moment when you think: okay, the only way out is through and you drop off the edge into the snow. That's using a typewriter. It's not perfect, except when it is.
Everything about this is great! Perfect reminder that digital, quicker and easier does not mean better. Craftsmanship, quality, and the act of making are the important parts. We all need places like California Typewriter.