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. Director Christopher Lockett and producer Gary Nicholson crisscrossed America to conduct over thirty interviews with authors, collectors, journalists, professors, bloggers, students, artists, inventors and repairmen. Many of these people meet up for “Type-Ins” — gatherings to celebrate their decidedly lo-tech typewriters in a plugged-in, digital world.

Meet authors Robert Caro and David McCullough — four Pulitzer Prizes, three National Book Awards and a Presidential Medal of Freedom between them — both typewriterusers with much to say about the creative process and the value of slowing down, and writing — or typing — multiple drafts in an internet culture that rewards unedited and instantly published documents. The film also showcases typewriters once owned by Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, George Bernard Shaw, Jack London, John Steinbeck, John Updike, Sylvia Plath, Ernie Pyle, Helen Keller, John Lennon, and Ray Bradbury.

Details

LENGTH: 1 x 60′
FORMAT:  Documentary
CAMERA: HD
INTERNATIONAL TRACK AVAILABLE: No (No narration, only dialogue)
TEXTLESS MASTER AVAILABLE: Yes
CLOSED CAPTIONS AVAILABLE: No
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
PRODUCTION YEAR: 2012
RELEASE YEAR: 2013
SUPPLIER:  Christopher Lockett and Gary Nicholson
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States of America
RIGHTS TERRITORY: Worldwide

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DVD Details

LENGTH: 60 Minutes
MSRP: $24.95
CATALOG #: 20540
UPC #: 6-4603205409-5
ISBN #: 1-56839-456-X
RELEASE YEAR: 2013
PRODUCER:  Christopher Lockett and Gary Nicholson

In addition to being available as a DVD for home-use only, this title is available to colleges, universities, non-profit institutions and community groups with both Public Performance Rights (PPR) and Digital Site Licenses (DSL). For PPR and DSL ordering information, click here.

PRICE WITH PPR: $295
PRICE WITH DSL: $495
PRICE WITH PPR AND DSL: $595


Reviews

“…This upbeat documentary pays tribute to the manual typewriter, presenting an informative look at the “marvelous machine” that revolutionized office work. The film artfully blends typewriter-patent diagrams with archival photos of old machines, vintage film clips, and several typewritten-text facts that underscore the typewriter’s significance. Cleverly woven into entertaining typewriter-memorabilia trivia and photos are numerous interview clips with typewriter enthusiasts (including authors Robert Caro and David McCullough), technicians, students, bloggers, musicians, and soldiers who toted their manual machines during military service. The film captures the typewriter fervor of devotees, some of whom are seen in typewriter-repair shops next to their favorite noble machine. One enthusiast sums up his sentiments by borrowing a phrase from early typewriter user Mark Twain, as he happily proclaims that “news of the typewriter’s death has been greatly exaggerated.” Most entertaining.” – Booklist

“Lockett, a cameraman and documentary-maker, made a film on the subject last year titled “The Typewriter in the 21st Century” which is currently showing on the independent movie circuit.  ‘I thought: if the typewriter is going away, and is in part responsible for every great novel from the 20th century, they deserve a proper send-off,’ he said.” – The Japan Times

“…Lockett has made a valuable and persuasive film that keenly balances instruction and celebration — all without benefit of a narrator. Maybe too persuasive: Having written and filed this review on a generic office laptop, I can’t help but suspect it would have been improved by a run it through my long-lost Smith Corona. Long may she shift, backspace and return.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“Director-cinematographer Christopher Lockett unearths quite an assortment of spokespeople to wax poetic on behalf of the once-ubiquitous typewriter. Such prize-winning authors as Robert Caro and David McCullough, various collectors, journalists (including former L.A. Times reporter Alex Pham) and “typosphere” bloggers, plus an eclectic array of active typewriter repairmen all warmly celebrate their predilection for their vintage Royals, Underwoods and Smith-Coronas. Several “poets on demand,” a few teen enthusiasts and even a musician who uses the 19th-century invention as a percussion instrument also weigh in. …Lockett keeps things moving quickly and enjoyably [in this] fun, compact love letter of a documentary.” – Gary Goldstein, LA Times

Everything You Wanted to Know About Typewriters But Were Afraid to Ask “DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - On Friday, May 10, the Downtown Independent will begin hosting a weeklong run of a documentary about something never explored so deeply in film: typewriters.”

“An entertaining portrait of the typewriter’s continuing legacy, this is recommended.” -Video Librarian

“Cleverly woven into entertaining typewriter-memorabilia trivia and photos are numerous interview clips with typewriter enthusiasts (including authors Robert Caro and David McCullough), technicians, students, bloggers, musicians, and soldiers who toted their manual machines during military service. The film captures the typewriter fervor of devotees, some of whom are seen in typewriter-repair shops next to their favorite noble machine.” – Booklist

“…this film will interest individuals who have ever used a typewriter in their life (likely anyone who was born before the 1980s), as well as writers, aspiring authors, and people who enjoy connecting with another era. …short enough to view in a single sitting in most classrooms, and is recommended for historical technology collections as well as general public, high school, and lower-level undergraduate libraries.” – Educational Media Reviewer