Emily Mody - California Typewriter (CUFF.Docs 2017)

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 02:00 PM

California Typewriter (CUFF.Docs 2017)

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

California Typewriter is a feature length documentary film directed by Doug Nichol. The story follows various typewriter lovers from across America. The film discusses the inception of the typewriter, it’s progress throughout history, it’s decline, and ultimately how it is romanticized and utilized today. The main subject of the film is a small typewriter repair store in California called California Typewriter. Overall, the film examines society’s complex relationship with technology. We see the emphasis we have placed on efficiency and how that has impacted our lives both positively and negatively.

I absolutely loved this film. There was something so deliciously homegrown and endearing about the whole concept. Even the interviews with celebrities including Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, and Sam Shepard did not feel contrived. Everything about this film felt so sincere, passionate, and heart warming. Being an individual who spends the majority of my time writing, the film made me long for the romance of writing on a loud, clacking typewriter. Finding a space where I can take my time and focus without the grating distraction of a million other things that accompany my phone and computer. The film forces you to examine your own relationship to technology and how much you depend on it. It is a beautiful demonstration of mechanic nostalgia and how we can push back against the onslaught of technical innovation.

California Typewriter is comparable to a Canadian documentary titled Waiting for Fidel directed by Michael Rubbo. This is an atypical documentary that follows three gentlemen while they explore Cuba and hope to interview Castro. While in subject matter these films seem to be extremely different, the tonal qualities of both films are very similar. There is something so endearing and unexpected about the subjects of both films. If you had the pleasure of watching Waiting for Fidel and you enjoyed it, I think you will benefit from going to see California Typewriter.

California Typewriter runs a total of 103 minutes. It is suitable for all audience members. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in a discussion based on our relationship with technology in contemporary society. Even if you are not interested in the larger questions that California Typewriter poses there is still so much to enjoy and gain from watching it. The simplicity of living vicariously through the passion that these people have is also extremely enjoyable. There is something so beautiful and inspiring in the story of hard working people who love what they do.

California Typewriter will be premiering in Alberta as a part of CUFF.Docs 2017 documentary film festival. It will be playing on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Globe Cinema.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.