Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Linotype in Film

As you may have heard, a Kickstarter project called Linotype, the Film is about to premiere across the USA.

"Linotype: The Film" Official Trailer on Vimeo.

From the website's about page:

Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the "Eighth Wonder of the World" by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the surprisingly emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world.

The Linotype (pronounced "line-o-type") completely transformed the communication of information similarly to how the internet is now changing communication again. Although these machines were revolutionary, technology began to supersede the Linotype and they were scrapped and melted-down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence.

February 3rd is the very first screening in NYC, and a subsequent Brooklyn screening has already sold out. We would certainly love to get a chance to see this film up here in Canada, but as of yet, there are no scheduled screenings North of the border. Stay tuned to @linotypefilm on Twitter for late breaking news, as there has already been rumours of a Seattle screening for late February.

Update! Overheard via Twitter today: "DVD and download will be released in early summer."

Props to the filmmaker for following through with this documentary vision! Bravo!

For those who wish to study the history of linotype in film, you may be interested in catching the movie Park Row which happens to be screening this Saturday night in Vancouver at the Vancity Theatre. The film is part of a series of newspaper films called Stop the Presses! and it deals with the invention of linotype, albeit in a fictionalized way.

In typical film review fashion, I shall include a few film review excerpts from the IMDb page of Park Row below:

Kalaman from Ottawa writes:
"Park Row" is small but an engaging and entertaining tribute to American journalism. Under the opening credits we see a huge rolling title that lists about 2,000 American daily newspapers and this story is dedicated to them.

Set in the 1880s New York, the film is about the rivalry between The Globe and The Star. An aspiring newspaper editor (Gene Evans) sets up his own daily The Globe after a man jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge. He struggles to compete with his former employer's (Mary Welch) newspaper The Star, who happens to be in love with him, while the Statue of Liberty is being donated to the U.S. by France.
The film may not be the benchmark of historical accuracy, however. Reviewer Irie212 from New York City points out in a review:
Linotype was indeed invented by German immigrant Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1886, but it wasn't for a Park Row newspaper, it was for lawyers wanting a way to get legal papers printed faster...
And finally, IMDb reviewer Martin Lane from Cortland, Ny writes:
Any film that can turn the creation of linotype into a miracle of discovery is a wonder. Check out this 83 minute masterwork...rediscover how alive film can be.

That's good enough for me; recommended!

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