I haven't had a typewriter in ages. If I had one, my daily consumption of Wite-Out would run into the gallons.Nonetheless, typewriters are very cool because they are so cinematic. Or, at any rate, they are more cinematic than anything else writers do (apart from getting druink and falling over at parties). Movie directors still invariably have writers banging away on typewriters. You can 1) zoom in close on each letter as it embosses onto the paper; 2) amplify the hammering sounds; 3) have the loose sheets of the manuscript fly away--out the window, or under a car, or into a pond. (This latter movie cliche was used as recently as Love Actually.)
What we do is about the dullest thing in the world to film, which is why they usually show the writer sitting down to write and then cut to the writer sitting back and wiping sweat from the forehead, a stack of finished manuscript pages beside the typewriter. Very seldom so they do more because, well, a story about someone making up a story turns out to be a bit dull.
Two movies have fine openings with the writer working at the typewriter. The first is Romancing the Stone, which opens in the romance-novel ending being written by Kathleen Turner's character, complete with her cheesy prose as voice-over. The scene then cuts to her teary-eyed face at her typewriter, as she says, "Oh, God, that's good...The...End."
The other, and my favorite, is the beginning of Throw Momma From the Train. The movie opens close in on the page as the typewriter stamps out "T...h...e... ...n...i...g..h...t... ...w...a...s..." and then switches to the face of Billy Crystal's character, who for almost the rest of the film is stuck on his novel's opening line, "The night was..." For the next few minutes of screen time, Crystal moves in and out of the frame (which stays fixed on his typewriter), doing all those things writers do, and a few I've never thought of, when we are stuck and pretending we are working. Nice scene.
No typewriter for me, though. I probably delete twenty words for every one I write and keep. Typewriters may be more cinematic, but if you're anything like me, avoiding typewriters keeps innumerable acres of trees thriving.
Though I have to admit that it would sometimes be satisfying to crumple up what I had just written and hurl it into the trash. Not only is that cinematic, but cathartic as well.