California Typewriter (2017)

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Critic Consensus: California Typewriter is an affectionate, nostalgic love letter to the typed word from enthusiasts and experts alike.

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CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER is a documentary portrait of artists, writers, and collectors who remain steadfastly loyal to the typewriter as a tool and muse, featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, Sam Shepard, and others. It also movingly documents the struggles of California Typewriter, one of the last standing repair shops in America dedicated to keeping the aging machines clicking. In the process, the film delivers a thought-provoking meditation on the changing dynamic between humans and machines, and encourages us to consider our own relationship with technology, old and new, as the digital age's emphasis on speed and convenience redefines who's serving whom, human or machine?

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Critic Reviews for California Typewriter

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (13)

There are two ready-made audiences for this doc and both will benefit from seeing it.

Oct 27, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

I enjoyed this film about typewriters so much that I feel guilty writing this review on a computer instead of a Smith Corona.

Oct 27, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Suffusing the documentary is an almost religious reverence for this mundane and obsolete mechanical apparatus. Not that it's undeserved.

Sep 21, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The best thing is that Nichol doesn't adopt a luddite stance. He doesn't try to impart the evils of technology, at least not much.

Sep 14, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Although the film would benefit from a more reined-in focus, "California Typewriter" is a love letter to an antiquated device - one that retains its charm and utility even in the digital age.

Sep 7, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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.

Aug 31, 2017 | Full Review…

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