Typewriter Talk

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12-2-2017 18:25:27  #11


Re: Typewriter movie! California Typewriter!

Uwe wrote:

On a side note, I have hacked a couple of DVD players so that they will play DVDs from any region, but anyone who goes through the trouble of doing this will fully appreciate your point concerning regional content and be fully aware of such pitfalls.

You can also buy DVD players off the shelf that are not region locked, but unfortunately it can be an imperfect science. Sony players, for example, have a reputation for quietly NOT being region locked, but also do not advertise the fact. I've even heard of people buying a Sony model where the sales assistant AND Sony had claimed it was region locked, but in practice it actually wasn't. I think you have more luck with a combined Blu-Ray and DVD player.. my Sony machine is region unlocked out of the box. 

Uwe wrote:

It had its premier in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, but I passed, as did a couple of the other collectors that I know in the city. I'm not sure what their reasons were for not wanting to see the film (they only told me that they weren't going), but my decision was based on watching its trailer; I found the rhetoric used for its voice-over to be ridiculous, which was enough to put me off seeing it.

I was interested to hear your thoughts here, Uwe. As far as I can tell, they were reading out Richard Polt's 'Typewriter Manifesto' that he included in <i>The Typewriter Revolution</i>. Does that actual 'manifesto' grate or did you just hate the way it was used in the trailer?

I personally am keen to see the film, mainly because I hope for a lot of typewriter eye-candy as it looks to have high production value. So lots of HD close-ups of typewriters: yes please! But I did find that bizarre android/robot that they appear to be building (out of typewriter parts?) to be an irritatingly tangential addition, and one that feels closer to key chopping than actual typewriter appreciation. It's like when people create book art by slicing up the pages or gluing them to make sculptures. Apologies to anyone who enjoys doing it, but when I see the final works I just think, "Ah! Those poor books, how could you bring yourself to destroy them?" 

Also there is a moment in the trailer where someone drops a typewriter out of a car and it smashes into a million bits.. who thought that would appeal to people who love typewriters!?

 

26-2-2017 10:38:36  #12


Re: Typewriter movie! California Typewriter!

TypewriterKing wrote:

I don't have a DVD of this movie myself, but I Googled it and found it on Youtube--without subtitles. I watched it in spurts. The typewriters fascinated me--especially the pink Japy the heroine of the story was using, and the dolled-up Underwood 150 her finalist competitor was using.
 

Ah, mystery solved! That settles the confusion. It's a really sweet and engaging film, I've seen it several times (on my DVD - Uwe, it amuses me that a typewriter aficionado is telling me DVDs are a dead medium!) and it keeps being fun. 

Just out of interest, the male lead, Romain Duris, is a staggeringly impressive actor all round, and if you have ANY tolerance for subtitles it is really worth seeing a movie he also stars in, called The Beat that My Heart Skipped. Totally different thing - a very intense, and moving, thriller. 

 

26-2-2017 15:40:48  #13


Re: Typewriter movie! California Typewriter!

Nicole wrote:

my Sony machine is region unlocked out of the box.

I wonder if where you live (region-wise) has something to do with how locked-down a player is? Maybe some regions are more aggressive in protecting content than others, or perhaps the standards have simply relaxed over the years?

Nicole wrote:

As far as I can tell, they were reading out Richard Polt's 'Typewriter Manifesto' that he included in <i>The Typewriter Revolution</i>. Does that actual 'manifesto' grate or did you just hate the way it was used in the trailer?

I've haven't seen a copy of the book, but if that's where the text used for the voice-over originated from then it's probably not something that I'd be interested in reading.

Without getting into a long, off-topic explanation, when you talk to collectors who started their collections during a time when typewriters were still being produced domestically, or spend some time with servicemen from that era who have never stopped repairing machines, it becomes apparent that typewriters never really disappeared. Adding to this reality is the fact that there have always been pockets of sustained typewriter use around the world, and that new machines have pretty much always remained available for purchase.

The number of hobbyists focusing their energy on any particular manufactured item that has become a collectable is something that waxes and wanes over time, but typewriter collectors have always existed, which is why I find the mindset of the "typosphere" coterie to be a little bizarre at times. Based on some of the rhetoric that I've come across in a few blogs you would think that these collectors had unearthed and revitalized some long forgotten technology, and created a new hobby in the process. Some have even gone so far as to ordain themselves typewriter experts, or revolutionaries of some kind.

To each his own. I assume that most collectors and enthusiasts don't take the hobby too seriously, and that they're just having some fun. I view my own interest in typewriters to be nothing more than the practical use of a writing instrument that has been mixed with a little curiosity and whimsy.     

Nicole wrote:

Also there is a moment in the trailer where someone drops a typewriter out of a car and it smashes into a million bits.. who thought that would appeal to people who love typewriters!?

Not having seen the film I can't defend why they would include such a scene, but if the intent of the film was similar to other typewriter documentaries, then it probably wasn't meant to be a fan film, but rather an exploration of the roles typewriters play in contemporary society. If that was the goal of the film then they certainly would need to mention keychoppers and other re-purposed uses for the typewriter.

KatLondon wrote:

 it amuses me that a typewriter aficionado is telling me DVDs are a dead medium!

There is an irony to it; however, my typewriters will continue to work and have a practical use long after I am dead, and it's a real shame that I can't say the same for so many things that were invented during my lifetime. It was financially painful to throw out hundreds of cassette and VHS tapes, and replace them with CDs and DVDs, which in turn are now practically extinct. It says a lot about the continually decreasing life-cycle of consumer goods. Gone are the days that you could invest in something like a typewriter and know that it would - with proper care - last your entire life, and maintain some measure of relevance during it.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

07-4-2017 11:34:36  #14


Re: Typewriter movie! California Typewriter!

I got to see California Typewriter at the Cleveland International Film Festival on March 29th, and it is pretty good. It's supposed to get a general theatrical release in the U.S. this fall.

 

09-4-2017 14:07:24  #15


Re: Typewriter movie! California Typewriter!

Uwe wrote:

Nicole wrote:

As far as I can tell, they were reading out Richard Polt's 'Typewriter Manifesto' that he included in <i>The Typewriter Revolution</i>...

I've haven't seen a copy of the book, but if that's where the text used for the voice-over originated from then it's probably not something that I'd be interested in reading.

Without getting into a long, off-topic explanation, when you talk to collectors who started their collections during a time when typewriters were still being produced domestically, or spend some time with servicemen from that era who have never stopped repairing machines, it becomes apparent that typewriters never really disappeared. Adding to this reality is the fact that there have always been pockets of sustained typewriter use around the world, and that new machines have pretty much always remained available for purchase.

The number of hobbyists focusing their energy on any particular manufactured item that has become a collectable is something that waxes and wanes over time, but typewriter collectors have always existed, which is why I find the mindset of the "typosphere" coterie to be a little bizarre at times. Based on some of the rhetoric that I've come across in a few blogs you would think that these collectors had unearthed and revitalized some long forgotten technology, and created a new hobby in the process. Some have even gone so far as to ordain themselves typewriter experts, or revolutionaries of some kind.

To each his own. I assume that most collectors and enthusiasts don't take the hobby too seriously, and that they're just having some fun. I view my own interest in typewriters to be nothing more than the practical use of a writing instrument that has been mixed with a little curiosity and whimsy.

Uwe, with all due respect! Richard Polt is easily as serious about typewriters as you are, has done a LOT to educate all these uncommitted and whimsical hobbyists in the proper care etc of their typewriters, and does voluntary work as a repairman for at least one educational charity.His 'Typewriter Manifesto' is a lighthearted statement that gets at something serious: i.e., that we are so addicted to our digital life that it is owning us. He's right that taking back the analogue is almost tantamount to a revolutionary act - in a light vein, of course; obviously not as in the French, or Russian, or Cultural, Revolution... 

The book contains information on how to choose a machine you'd like, how to care for it, clean and do simple repairs and how to get more information. It may not be your bag but it's a good book. And he's a good guy, and knows what he's talking about.

Furthermore, I've seen loads of interviews with typewriter repair men (eg in those films you turn your nose up at) where they do say that the business dried up - they get more customers now, they get more enthusiastic and younger customers now, trade has picked up, things have changed and are changing. Typewriters never went away completely, maybe, but they did mostly go away. And now they are coming back - a bit. Just a bit. Sure, serious collectors have always been there, but not everyone has to be a serious collector.

Also, I have to tell you that if your interest  in typewriters were REALLY simply as writing instruments and mixed with whimsy, you wouldn't have such a huge collection of them, and you wouldn't be disapproving of other people's lack of seriousness! 

Sorry - I'd be the first to agree that a lot of people can be quite annoying, but really... It's fine for people to be different and like different things. 

 

09-7-2017 13:23:49  #16


Re: Typewriter movie! California Typewriter!

The film trailer for California Typewriter was just released. 
Check it out here:
http://www.avclub.com/article/tom-hanks-reaches-peak-cute-dad-trailer-typewriter-257829 

 

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