8.3/10
74
4 user 17 critic

California Typewriter (2016)

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California Typewriter is a story about people whose lives are connected by typewriters. The film is a meditation on creativity and technology featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard, David McCullough and others.

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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Silvi Alcivar ...
Herself
Ken Alexander ...
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...
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Martin Howard ...
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Jeremy Mayer ...
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Himself
David McCullough ...
Himself
Herbert Permillion ...
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Richard Polt ...
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Anthony Rocco ...
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...
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Darren Wershler ...
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Mason Williams ...
Himself
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Storyline

California Typewriter is a story about people whose lives are connected by typewriters. The film is a meditation on creativity and technology featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard, David McCullough and others.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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the revolution will be typewritten

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18 August 2017 (USA)  »

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$93,600 (USA) (9 September 2017)
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User Reviews

 
Great movie--about more than typewriters
18 September 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a fully engrossing movie that uses a portrait of a small business in Berkeley, CA to examine the unique mind set of collectors, the history of the typewriter and its impact on the culture as well as being a meditation on the cost of technological progress. We meet a wide range of people who collect typewriters, including Tom Hanks. He is very charming and is very clearly passionate about these machines. It's fun to listen to him explain what he likes about his typewriters and he has a compelling philosophical outlook. The other collectors are equally interesting and diverse, though, as noted in the film, mostly men. California Typewriter focuses on a very particular segment of society, but manages to say a lot about American culture in general.

I think it's inexcusable for a documentary that features a lot of talking head interviews not to identify the speakers on camera. We all know who Tom Hanks is, and maybe John Mayer. But the other notable people interviewed are not household names or faces, even Sam Shepard, RIP. The names are listed "In order of appearance" in the end credits. Are we supposed to memorize who appeared in what order? If it weren't for this creative choice, I would have given 10 stars.


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