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What documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney learned about Steve Jobs

Leah Yamshon | March 25, 2015
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine hasn't even been widely released yet, and it's already stirring the controversy pot. Early reviews have called it cynical (and similar in tone to Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs), Eddy Cue spoke out against this "mean spirited" film on Twitter, and rumors of Apple employees walking out of the theater have been circulating since the film's premier earlier in March.

Gibney acknowledges that many Apple fanboys won't like the film — especially these harder-to-watch sequences — since it's pretty critical of Jobs overall. He hopes that people will look at it from a broader scope, and recognize the conflicting ideals that made Jobs who he was.

The yin and yang

Above all, Gibney described Jobs as a walking contradiction — a man with undefined values, yet a practicing Buddhist. A man who wanted to make the world a better place, yet who did so through making tech products.

To demonstrate these conflicting messages, Gibney said he purposefully used different editing techniques to drive this home: For example, he'd abruptly cut to a silent Japanese garden from a scene blasting a Bob Dylan song, and he used simple animated sequences during excepts with Jobs's spiritual mentor, Kobun Chino Otogawa.

But his biggest conflict — as told by Gibney — seemed to be Jobs's struggle in maintaining close friendships and relationships. 

"He couldn't connect, yet he connected us all."


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