Filed Under:  U.S. & World

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (Magnolia Pictures, NR)

Contributed by on September 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm

The testimonials from friends and ex-coworkers provide sufficient proof that Jobs’ public persona clashed with his private one.

After focusing his lens on plenty of controversial figures (Enron heads, Scientology’s lawyers, Lance Armstrong, etc), filmmaker Alex Gibney’s latest subject is Apple’s deified leader in Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. That’s a shock, but then, Jobs is basically an endless Russian nesting doll of ambition, fear, anxiety, malice, creativity, deceit, passion and, at the center of all that, heart. Yet, as Gibney’s film points out, Jobs didn’t believe in corporate charity and refused to talk to activists concerned about the environmental impact of the company’s Chinese manufacturing plants. What is the connection people have with their Apple products that makes them think the corporation is different than any other corporation and that Jobs was some kind of Zen master businessman possessed of wisdom and enlightenment that Bill Gates lacks? There is something special, something intangibly unique, about these machines, and, yes, even about Jobs.

Most people will probably see Gibney’s attempt at a balanced portrayal as a little heavy-handed.

As of April, Apple stock had more than doubled since Jobs died, to a high of 134.54, but shares have retreated with the recent market downturn. And that’s not even counting leaving his ex-girlfriend and baby daughter to survive on welfare (until court-ordered otherwise) while he was on his way to making his second hundred million.

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” is one of the director’s more superficial efforts; it’s watchable but glib. And there’s school buddy and Apple employee Daniel Kottke, wondering succinctly: “How much of an [expletive] do you have to be to be successful?”

Here’s the second of three movies to emerge in the space of two years about the same real-life person.

His excuse was that it helped him stay anonymous, but it seemed that practically everyone in the area knew of the silver Mercedes to be found in handicapped parking spaces.

But his stuff is beloved.

To make another example, it’s very similar to when people become so attached to their favorite music, movie or TV show that they become personally offended by someone who doesn’t like it or has no opinion on it. We have attached part of ourselves, our self-worth and our own sense of identity to these pieces of technology.

The documentary, out Friday, takes a 2-hour look at the layered man who was at once the nationally lauded father of modern technology, and also a “maniacal genius” and CEO who called to mind The Godfather in meetings, according to former employees.

Gibney told Business Insider that he’s not just received pushback from Scientology but from Apple as well. Good questions, yet in the words of journalist Joe Nocero, who has aired some of the above charges, “People don’t want to know.” Why? “[Jobs] had the focus of a monk but none of the empathy”. The film opens with scenes depicting a worldwide wake for Jobs, depicting people laying flowers and lighting candles in front of Apple stores and YouTube clips of mourners’ reactions to his death. The company uses factories in China and elsewhere that have abused workers. Under his watch, Apple shifted billions in profits to a tax haven and paid him in illegal “backdated options”. Jobs was a willing participant in an arrangement between tech companies not to recruit each other’s talent.

Now that the film has seen a slightly wider release in critic screenings before its launch today, a few more opinions have been gathered on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.

“A phone is not a mythical device”, Gibney said. You don’t give it away for free to Steve Jobs.

The SEC investigation was not the only time when Jobs presumed himself to be above the law.

Acclaimed filmmaker explains how Apple operates like the Church of Scientology

By Jerome Khalid” title=”Entertainment
Acclaimed filmmaker explains how Apple operates like the Church of Scientology

By Jerome Khalid”/>

Acclaimed filmmaker explains how Apple operates like the Church of Scientology

By Jerome Khalid