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Film & Discussion: Pressing On: The Letterpress Film


Saturday August 26, 2017: 2:00pm to 3:45pm


Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room


The modern world was born on a printing press. Once essential to communication, the 500-year-old process is now in danger of being lost as its caretakers age.

From self-proclaimed basement hoarders to the famed Hatch Show Print, the 2017 documentary Pressing On: The Letterpress Film explores the question: why has letterpress survived? Producer Kevin Grazioli will be here for a Q & A after the film screening. Please also join us for a Letterpress Open House following the film and discussion and try your hand at some letterpress projects.

In this 99-minute film, captivating personalities blend with wood, metal, and type as young printers strive to save this historic process in a film created for the designer, type nerd, historian, and collector in us all. Worlds of each character emerge as unusual narratives—joyful, mournful, reflective, and visionary—are punctuated with on-screen visual poetry, every shot meticulously composed.

The film is a joint collaboration between Erin Beckloff and Andrew P. Quinn, co-directors, Kevin Grazioli, producer, and Joe Vella, director of photography.

Beckloff, now a tenured track assistant professor of Graphic Design at Miami University, developed an interest in letterpress after receiving a historic printing press as a wedding gift. Curious and inspired, in 2010 Beckloff began to record interviews with printers in the letterpress community. Her focus then shifted to capturing their stories on film, and in late 2013, she partnered with Quinn, Grazioli, and Vella at Bayonet Media to create the “Pressing On” documentary.