Synopsis: A look at the personal and private life of the late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs.


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Steve Jobs, the legendary inventor and iconic CEO of Apple was a beloved and conflicted force to be reckoned with. During the beginning of Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine, director Alex Gibney compared the death to Steve Jobs to when John Lennon and Martin Luther King Jr. passed. He had that big of an impact on our culture on a global scale. He was the last great modern innovator that brought the 21st century to society. And like all geniuses we idealize, they have dark sides. Over the course of a two hour running time, which is long for a documentary, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, cover a wide variety of topics including the technology, the person, and the influence to detail.


Audiences will value many things about Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine especially since the technological history of the computer and how much of an honest portrayal of an imperfect persona. The story about the origins of the Blue Box was interesting. I felt like a current Junior High student learning about this Polaroid camera watching and processing this minor story with a significant impact. Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine was consistently fascinating and balanced portrait that will engage die-hard Apple geeks and casual iPhone users. There was interesting revelations about his medical condition and how entrepreneurs want to have “pathological control of their own fate” as someone mentioned by initially refusing the surgery that could’ve saved his life.


Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine was consistently fascinating and balanced portrait that will engage die-hard Apple geeks and casual iPhone users.


Some questionable character flaws haunt Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine as people reflect on the Jobs they knew especially former colleagues in his early days. This also features the uncomfortable revelation of an unplanned pregnancy and the fallout. He was adapted and (initially) wanted nothing to do with parenthood, but had a change of heart overtime. Likewise, when he took over Apple, Steve Jobs terminated philanthropic funding and continued to treat Apple like a startup. Improperly back dating stock options at Apple was a serious issue I didn’t realize happened. And remember all the problems with the production of Apple products from building fires to workers suicides? It is all mentioned. This makes Apple fanboys uncomfortable which puts the mixed buzz at SXSW Film Festival into perspective. I’m sure Film+Interactive Badge Holders didn’t want anything to do with this one.


The discipline from an accomplished director like Alex Gibney is the highlight of Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine elevating an ordinary documentary to the next level. It constantly makes the case that Steve Jobs wanted “power without responsibility” as one person put it during an interview. When Steve Jobs died, his legacy lifts him up to cultural sainthood. The grief for Jobs went beyond the products but the persona. Consumers had connection with the creator almost like a 21st century secular god-like relationship. With all his imperfections and labor issues, consumers don’t care about those minor details as long as they can own one of his cool products.



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