Out of Print (SIFF 2013)

Interesting overview of the evolution of print and digital information and the trends of modern society for reading and interacting with written information. It was quite short (only 54 minutes) and only skims the surface of a very broad number of topics (history of the printing press, American literacy, self-publishing ebooks, copyright and pirating, the role of libraries, etc). I felt that the documentary was, in fact, just skimming the surface of the subject, very similarly to the statements it made about how Americans now only skim the surface of written works, rather than digesting the whole thing. The digital age has brought us to a point where we are consuming “culture in capsules”, and this documentary was another capsule of culture to sample.

Provided Film Synopsis
As bookstores continue to close and the publishing industry consolidates into a few powerful conglomerates, it has become clear that the digital revolution has forever changed how we read. What does that mean for the future of books, not the ones you can read on your computer, but the ones made out of paper? Meryl Streep narrates this enthralling, in-depth debate about the turbulent and exciting future of the printed word. In the quest to understand the extraordinary transformations that the printed word has undergone in recent years, director Vivienne Roumani, a former librarian, surveys all of those who have a vested interest from the top down: authors, publishers, critics, booksellers, librarians, educators, digital pirates, self-publishers, readers, and luminaries like the late Ray Bradbury, Authors Guild President Scott Turow, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, and New Yorker columnist Jeffrey Toobin. All are asked a fundamental question “Is the book dead?” The answer is far from it as there are complex issues of copyright, preservation, and diversity of access that threaten the future of books. A future which may impact the very core of our civilization.

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

    • Vivienne Roumani
  • Cast Members:

    • Meryl Streep
  • Countries:

    • USA
  • Languages:

    • English
    • Italian
  • Genres:

    • Documentary