California Typewriter (2016)
Who would have thought that the humble typewriter of yesteryear could be the icon of so many wonderfully provocative cinematic trajectories? This documentary is centered in a Berkeley repair shop called "California Typewriter" that has survived thanks to its owner, who has maxed out his credit cards, refinanced his mortgage, taken out loans, discovered the marketing magic of the internet, but most of all who has pursued with a passion something that he loves — repairing old typewriters. From there we meet all manner of enthusiasts who share that passion — actor Tom Hanks, musician John Mayer, historian David McCullough, playwright Sam Shepard, the remarkable artist Jeremy Mayer, and one Martin Howard, who has collected old typewriters for over twenty years. But this documentary is about more than the machine; it's a prophetic piece of cultural history and social criticism that argues for the bygone life of a classic analogue. It's a nostalgic lament, whimsy, protest, and obsession for what is probably a lost cause, and for that very reason all the more important. Let the revolution begin. I rented this movie on Amazon Streaming for $4.99.