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What’s as satisfying as a good book? Seeing one made the old-fashioned way, by hand

Books are many things to many people, from status symbols to life-savers to dangerous portals to unwanted experiences, but few of us get to see them born. This charming short offers a swift tour of the Smith Settle printing and bookbinding company in Leeds, in the north of England, where books are still made the old-fashioned way. The director Glen Milner charts each step in the process as bookbinders piece together a new hardbound edition of the memoir Mango and Mimosa (1974) by the British writer and painter Suzanne St Albans. From folding pages to sewing and gluing paper to the leather spine, skilful human hands are front and centre throughout. Milner documents this melding of mechanics and craft with an almost musical rhythm, conveying skills and methods born of centuries of refinements.

Director: Glen Milner

28 June 2019

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