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The Typewriter (In the 21st Century) 2013 NR CC

The documentary film The Typewriter (In the 21st Century) is an ode to a marvelous machine that changed the world, and the surprisingly enduring culture that valiantly attempts to preserve its legacy and save it from cultural extinction.

Starring:
Robert Caro, David McCullough
Runtime:
57 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary, Kids & Family
Director Christopher Lockett
Starring Robert Caro, David McCullough
Studio DMGI
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

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By David Kinchen on June 18, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
On April 19, 2013 I traveled to Austin, Texas and enjoyed a program at the University of Texas that included a free screening of a documentary fllm, "The Typewriter in the 21st Century." The film is now available in a DVD which I ordered from Amazon.com for my own collection. This review is based on information obtained at the Austin screening, plus facts from the film's website and my own observations:

According to the website: "The film was inspired by a May, 2010 article in Wired magazine called "Meet The Last Generation of Typewriter Repairman." Director Christopher Lockett and Producer Gary Nicholson discussed the importance of the typewriter in 20th Century literature. The conclusion being that every great novel of the 20th Century was written on one, and if typewriters are in their final days, they deserved to be celebrated one last time.

"It only took a few interviews to determine that the typewriter and its legion of fans is far from dead. By the time the "Last Typewriter Factory Closes Its Doors" article went viral in April of 2011, Lockett and Nicholson were not only already making the film, they were convinced they had a much bigger story on their hands. They did.

"Funded largely through Kickstarter, the film eventually featured not only typewriter people - the aforementioned technicians, collectors, bloggers, users and fans - but famous typewriters as well. The film features machines once owned by Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck, Jack London, Sylvia Plath, George Bernard Shaw, John Lennon, Joe DiMaggio, Helen Keller, The Unabomber, John Updike, Ray Bradbury and Ernie Pyle.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
You like typed words if you are reading this review and considering this movie. Great start!

I am a writer. I just bought a 1958 Royal Futura 800 from Bob Green in Amherst (one of the gentlemen interviewed in this movie). I love it. It has changed my writing world.

The typewriter is there when I am ready to write. There is more to it than just not being distracted by the laptop fan and internet. The manual typewriter sits precisely where you left it, at one spot on the page, whether you go away for a minute, or for a day. The next key you hit is the next printed letter, regardless of when you hit it. There is no screensaver. There is no hibernation. There is no re-booting. It is silent and ready, a sentry with one purpose: to put my thoughts immediately to paper.

Why use a typewriter as an author? It makes me think. I can type faster than I can think; I needed a set of "brakes" to slow down; a computer keyboard and mouse was not enough. It's the difference between driving and walking. Drive a car along the winding road through the woods and you will get to the end faster. But, walk the edge of the winding road and you will feel the cool air and smell the woods. You will hear the birds. You will sense fear when you hear a rustling in the brush from an unseen animal. You will get wet when it starts raining.

The typewriter is a walk, not a drive. It is feeling, not just doing.

You enjoy the editing first on the paper itself, a tactile experience. You have a stack of pages that you can scribble on. You can jot notes. You can add arrows and circles and squares and your own personal symbols that you cannot do with editing on a computer.
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Format: DVD
This film does an excellent job of telling the story of typewriters and those who love, use and repair them. I was impressed by the depth of the interviews, especially with award-winning authors like David McCullough and Robert Caro. Their descriptions of how their writing is more deliberate on a typewriter than a computer were engaging and convincing.

I did not realize the key role that typewriters played in allowing women to enter the workforce.

The interviews with the typewriter repairmen and women were especially poignant. Hopefully there are enough old typewriters for spares to last another generation.

Collectors, members of the "typosphere" (bloggers who type their blog on a typewriter then scan it and post it online), and innovators in art, music, poetry and technology (yes, a USB manual typewriter!) are featured. An intrepid high school english teacher shows that students are improving their spelling and writing skills since he brought typewriters into his classroom.

The film features typewriters from the collection of Steve Soboroff, who owns typewriters used by Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac and many others.

This film should encourage viewers to find the old family manual typewriter and take it for a spin. Typospherians (bloggers and their readers), collectors, and the curious will all find something in the beautiful footage and interviews.
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There is more to this documentary than just discussing a sub-culture of typewriter fashion. The "Typosphere" is representative of a broader back-to-basics movement; slowing life back down to the speed of human thought. Even connectivity addicts should be able to appreciate the virtues of unplugging for a while, after seeing this film.
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