Wednesday, October 4

'California Typewriter' is Far More Than an Ode to a Vintage Gadget

Sometimes, you just need to take a step back and reflect. That's the message behind California Typewriter, the debut documentary from Doug Nichol. The film dives into the dynamic between humans and machines, exploring how we used to interact with technology and how it's changed over the years.

The film features appearances from celebrities like Tom Hanks, John Mayer, and Sam Shepard. While there's certainly an homage to typewriters, there's a greater question that Nichol poses: how do we react to things disappearing in our lives? For some, they look to the future. Others get stuck in the past, living a life of nostalgia. Both ways can lead down fulfilling paths, and sometimes there's beauty in cherishing where you are in life.

"If you walk away with a message from it, take a moment to reflect," Nichol says. "Life isn’t all about efficiency. We’re in a rush for things to be faster and faster, but that can bring problems. Part of the fun of life is to do something for yourself. It’s like riding a bicycle versus riding a motorcycle. They’ll both get you there, but one of them is a more enjoyable journey."

Nichol's first typewriter during the project was an Underwood 5, which he bought on eBay. Throughout the course of the film, he amassed a collection of 85 typewriters. His favorite of the bunch? An Erica 10.

"It was made in Germany in the 50s and it’s so beautiful," Nichol explains. "It’s got a little button you push and the top opens like the trunk of a car. I picked this up for 25 bucks and you cannot get the mechanics and efficiency of it nowadays."

And while Nichol admits he's in line whenever a new iPhone comes out, he hopes people will take solace in admiring a job well done. Even if it means getting your hands a little dirty.

"Work is fun. I think a lot of people maybe don’t realize that work brings fulfillment," he says. "Maybe things will be faster and more efficient, but what’s the cost of that to society? It's about finding that right balance."

California Typewriter is in theaters now. Check out the trailer below:

No comments:

Post a Comment