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78RPM

Rather than an ethnographic documentation of obsessive record collectors in their basements, Schlemowitz’s film is a fond paean to an era: the gramophone, 78 records, and devotees of flapper and steam punk culture. The vintage aficionados include Shien Lee of Dances of Vice and the London-based Shellac Sisters; authors and experts in the field; collectors including Michael Cumella of the Antique Phonograph Music program; Jonathan Ward of Excavated Shellac; preservationist bandleader Vince Giordano; and even the grandson of the inventor of the gramophone, Oliver Berliner. Adding to the lively portrait of those for who the music and technology (why 78 revolutions per minute?) of the past is ever-present, is a knowing selection of shellac delights—from hot jazz to Enrico Caruso to hillbilly ballads.

Genres: Documentary