Film Review: Steve Jobs, Man in the Machine


Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine

MAGNOLIA PICTURES

At an April showing of his Steve Jobs takedown, which already has generated plenty of heat in tech circles, director Alex Gibney admitted he’s basically wed to his iPhone. But boy, does his film avoid the worshipful tones of previous takes. Gibney begins by asking how a man who could be so cruel in his personal life managed to create such beloved products. Steve Wozniak explains how Jobs screwed him out of thousands of dollars on one of their first projects. Jobs’ ex-girlfriend describes how he got her pregnant, denied responsibility, and refused to pay child support—until a paternity test proved it. Other scandals include Jobs’ alleged backdating of stock options and his cold reaction to the Foxconn suicides. Gibney, who isn’t shy about poking powerful institutions—he also directed the Scientology expose Going Clear and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room—structured his latest film “not unlike Citizen Kane,” telling the story via anecdotes. In the end, you’ll have to decide whether there’s a Rosebud moment.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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