Sunday, January 31, 2016

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. Please click to enlarge.
    Director: Alex Gibney
    Country: USA
    Year: 2015
    Length: 129 min
    Rating: K12
    Format: DCP
    Cinematography: Yutaka Yamazaki, Sam Painter
    Editing: Michael J. Palmer
    Audio: Michael Jones, Marshall Potter
    Music: Will Bates
    Production: Viva Van Look, Alex Gibney, Magnolia Pictures
Language: English
No subtitles
    DocPoint, Helsinki.
    © 2015 Cable News Network
     Savoy Theatre: Wednesday 27.1. at 20:15. Viewed at Kinopalatsi 1: Sunday 31.1. at 16:45

Festival catalogue and website: "Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine, by the award-winning director Alex Gibney, reveals the things that are not mentioned at the Apple product announcement meetings, often reminiscent of religious gatherings. Steve Jobs managed to create an ideology where technology is part of us: it is both lovable and humane. Jobs was like a godfather for a new generation. He did everything in his power to keep the Apple family together. He also treated people badly, threatened his employees, and broke the law. Apple’s factories cause enormous environmental destruction, and the suicide rates of the Chinese factory employees who are tasked with the manufacturing of Apple products are high. But, for the love for Apple, we tend to ignore these facts."

"Steve was so dedicated to his work that it strained his personal relationships. The machines were his children. At a product release event, one of the computers was programmed to say, “Hi, dad,” and when Steve’s daughter’s name, Lisa, was chosen, he was excited because the name was fitting also for a new computer. This documentary raises awareness of important issues, but also depicts a touching account of a lonely, rootless genius, who, until the very last day, believed that he was changing the world.
" - Ilona Tolmunen / Translation: Sanna Parikka

AA: An excellent, intelligent and essential documentary on Steve Jobs. Alex Gibney focuses on the big picture of the contradictory genius. In the beginning the world is mourning his death. The question: why? We follow the trajectory of Steve Jobs from a teenage computer wizard of the 1960s to the CEO of Apple, the world's largest information technology company.

Gibney has conducted interviews with key personalities of the grand story such as Bob Belleville, Chrisann Brennan, Andy Grignon, Daniel Kottke, Fred Anderson, Michael S. Malone, Regis McKenna, Michael Moritz, Joe Nocera, Jon Rubinstein, Avie Tevanian, and Sherry Turkle. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak appear in archival footage.

The film covers an important part of the story of the personal computer and the mobile revolution. It is also an attempt to examine the mystery of the genius of Steve Jobs. His fascination with Bob Dylan. His attempts to find inspiration from Eastern spirituality: first Hinduism, then Japanese Buddhism. In Japan he found a way to focus on simplicity.

Paradoxes are not evaded. The neglect of his first daughter whom he initially tried to disown. His awful conduct towards colleagues and workers. The David who turned into a Goliath. Instances of gross fraud in business conduct, including the practice of backdating. The tax dodging. The violent harassment of workers in China.

The genius of Steve Jobs was that he realized a dream that people had. New devices of information technology became dream machines, extensions of the self. Steve Jobs was a visionary.

Alex Gibney gives a balanced and meaningful structure to his topic and combines deftly talking heads, vintage news footage, commercials, and new animation commissioned for this film. It is a story of big business as well as a human story of a deeply wounded genius.

In the finale Alex Gibney stares at the black screen of his iPhone and starts to see in it his own reflection, replaced by the ghost of Steve Jobs.

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