A well done film. My dad was a linotype oprerator and typographer. I am a letterpress printer, so I really appreciated what this film covered.There was lot of history in this film I didn't know. Much appreciated the entries by Frank Romano, Linotype GmbH, and others. Three of our linotypes went to the scrapyard, and one Model 15 went to a museum near Sacramento, CA. One of the Linotype nameplates is hanging in my shop.
Far from mainstream and little too quirky at times but still very informative. Linotype the film is a little corner of history that few people know about. The film covers the history of the Linotype machine and its impact on the world. It is a great piece of history and the director does an excellent job of covering the need for development, the challenge of creating a working design, the rise to the top of the class and the ultimate fall of the technology. There is a very human connection to the story and the director does an outstanding job of using real people to cover both the use of the machine and its incredible impact on the world. If you have an interest in mechanical devices, watch it! If you have a connection to the printed media, watch it! If you have a love for the power of American inventions and industry, watch it! If you have an interest in American history, watch it!
The film is relatively short but suffers slightly from a lack of editing. I'm not criticizing it for the length but the human interest stories imbedded within the history could have benefited from just a bit more editing. I almost want to give it 5 stars just for the excellent history instruction it provides. If you teach mechanical design or some type of history of print, this is a must see in your class. If you are just a fan of American history it is well worth the time to take it in.
The damndest thing about it is they probably did film what they needed to, but it got left on the cutting room floor. No one knows how to take pictures of machinery anymore. Its not that it would waste time, since the machine cycles in under 10 seconds. Holding the camera stationary and filming the machine for 3 cycles from 3 different angles would do alot to teach neophytes exactly what the machine did and how it did it. As it is, they have to download the 'online archives' from wikipedia and try to imagine what the machine is doing in their mind's eye.
Social Scientist documentary editors are only interested in the Human Interest part of the story. Fair enough. But the people they are filming feel the way they do strictly because of the machine and the ingenuity required of the men who designed it. To leave that out (visual proof of the reflected intelligence of the machine) is to leave the viewer guessing as to the whole story.
This very well-done documentary brought back memories to someone who began work as a reporter in the 1960s when newspapers used Linotype as part of the very complex technology of transferring the words I and others produced with typewriters into text for the thousands of newspapers that hit the streets within hours of our writing our stories.
Instead of circuit boards and screens, real, live craftsmen (and a few women), who enjoyed the protection of strong unions, got the paper out. Unlike a computer, one could see--with a little explanation from a union printer--how the thing works.
I used to work for LA Times and have fond memories of the Linotype room. This was a crowdfunded documentary and I had low expectations but watched it anyway just because I'm so interested in the subject.
This turned out to be a truly excellent production, one of the best documentaries I seen in ages. No narrator! The entire voice track is done in the words and voices of the collectors, operators, mechanics, and so on. This production not only documents the machine but also documents the people behind the machine.
I'll be showing this one to my wife who has little interest in machines but will enjoy the story of the historical impact of the linotype.
The fascinating story of information technology that not only presents the progression of technological advancements from the earliest printing press, but the artistic and emotional drive that inspired the eventual obsolescence of the behemoth industry that informed history.
I entered the print trade as an apprentice at the age of 15 at the local West Texas newspaper where six linotype machines were running full bore putting out two editions a day and the weekend edition. The film essentially covered a true history of this magnificent machine. After spending a year in the Pacific back in the 40's I returned to the composing room where the characteristic din of the same machines were humming along no worse for time and wear. The Linotype is a well engineered, well built workhorse. The story tugs at the heart of the professional printer in the years of yore.
If you're old enough to remember the form of typesetting that revolutionized publishing, you'll enjoy this film. Even if you're not, it's a compelling look at a machine that brought newspapers and books to the masses. Linotype machines were still in use when I went to work for a daily newspaper in the late 60s. They were elegant, dirty, hot and sometimes dangerous for the typesetters whose fingers sped across the keyboards like lightning. Nicely done documentary.