Lighthearted and poignant by turns, this clever documentary by first-time feature filmmaker Doug Nichol considers the meaningful place that supposedly outmoded but still perfectly functional machines like typewriters can and should hold in a rapidly digitized, automated and dehumanized world.
With impassioned testimony from such famous devotees as Tom Hanks, John Mayer and Sam Shepard, California Typewriter convincingly champions not only the craftsmanship inherent in its namesake’s manufacture but also the deeper human experience that can emerge from its use. The title also, however, refers to a Bay Area repair shop whose dogged owners struggle to keep the lights on with the support of a clientele composed primarily, it seems, of history-minded artists and collectors.
Thus does Nichol deliver a thought-provoking meditation on the changing dynamic between humans and technology: which one is really speeding toward obsolesence?
Producer: John Benet, Doug Nichol | Editor: Doug Nichol | Cinematographer: Doug Nichol
Cast: Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, Sam Shepard, Mason Williams