Both Neil and I are avid users of the typewriter so when we got the chance to speak to Doug Nichol the director of the 2017 documentary California Typewriter, it was a great chance to wax lyrical about the virtues of this 'obsolete' technology. On the surface, the film could have been overly nostalgic or, heaven forbid, dripping with retro hipsterism, but following the owner and staff of a repair shop originally opened in 1949 in Berkeley, a more profound story of how technological change affects the society and the lives within emerges. Also fascinating are the comments from famous names - including Tom Hanks, Sam Shepard and John Mayer - who see the typewriter as indispensable to their creative practice and personal identity. Other characters in the documentary reflect a more obsessive reverence and eccentric application of the machine that in many ways defined 20th-century modernity. Indeed, the film ruminates on our fundamental relationship to technology suggesting that the analogue and the digital have a symbiotic relationship rather than one of death and replacement.
Follow @Doug_Nichol & @Caltypefilm on Twitter.
Also listen on: