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Wednesday, May 5 2010
Greenfield Village, a kind of living museum of outmoded American inventions and customs outside Detroit, used to feature working blacksmiths, weavers, and millers. The roster could now include steelworkers, elevator operators, and VHS duplicators. But the news isn’t all bad for those who appreciate seemingly lost arts. In a small town in Wisconsin, the Hamilton Wood Type Museum houses a bygone printing factory that, one weekend a month, turns into a hubbub of printmaking activity. Justine Nagan’s hour-long film, Typeface, doesn’t merely document this phenomenon but pays homage to the sublime act of tactile, hands-on artmaking. The doc illustrates how a venerable technique and a vanishing craft continue to inspire a circle of graphic designers whose own work preserves a sense of history and tradition. Artisan printing, like piano building, is one of the last bulwarks of quality in a world filled with generic, mass-produced junk. Nagan appears at two screenings: 6 p.m. on May 15 and 2 p.m. on May 16.
Sat., May 15, 6 & 8 p.m.; May 16, 2 & 4 p.m., 2010

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Michael Fox


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