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'Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine' Film Debuts at SXSW, Eddy Cue Calls It 'Inaccurate' and 'Mean-Spirited'

Following the premiere of Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine this weekend at SXSW in Austin, Texas, reviews of the film have begun circulating in the media. The Guardian notes that the documentary portrays Jobs as "a man with dazzling talent and monomaniacal focus, but utterly lacking in empathy," with director Alex Gibney showing several examples of the late Apple co-founder's less-desirable behaviour that are typically overshadowed by his successes.

Steve Jobs Movie
"Yet this man, whose belief in his own righteousness was unshakeable, also terminated Apple’s philanthropic programmes, presided over huge corporate tax evasion, paid Chinese workers making iPhones a pittance, and only stumped up maintenance for his first daughter after dragging his ex-girlfriend through the courts, claiming that she was promiscuous and he was infertile, until a DNA test proved otherwise. Finally, he agreed to pay $500 a month – he was worth $200m at the time."
Apple senior executive Eddy Cue was quick to express his disappointment in the documentary, describing the film on Twitter as "an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend" and "not a reflection of the Steve I knew." Cue added that the best portrayal of Jobs is in the upcoming book "Becoming Steve Jobs," which he describes as "well done and first to get it right."

The Hollywood Reporter has a nearly equal assessment of The Man in the Machine, describing the film as a "two hour-plus corrective to uncritical idolatry of [Jobs], a film that roots around in his misdeeds and mean traits, not in search of a complete portrait, but in the spirit of a Judgment Day prosecutor who knows damn well the defendant was not a holy man."

Other publications that reviewed the documentary include Variety, TechnologyTell and Indiewire. The film is expected to debut in theaters later this year.

Top Rated Comments

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50 months ago
Sure Eddy; if SJ had made me a multi-zillionaire I'd probably feel that way too...

My own recollection from reading various stories over the years is that he was indeed a brilliant executive but a not very nice human being.

Since I like my iPhone very much and have never met him in person, this is OK with me.
Rating: 27 Votes
50 months ago
You're watching it wrong.
Rating: 22 Votes
50 months ago
Finally, an accurate portrayal of the guy.
Rating: 22 Votes
50 months ago

Best quote of the day. Everyone knows that Steve was no saint. At the same time he did remarkably wonderful things. Seems the haters are gonna hate.

True but there is nothing wrong in showing the other side of the coin. History shouldn't paint him as a benevolent deity. He was a dirtbag for most his adult life but so am I and many others. I wouldn't want people to make me out to be something amazing, just because I created some amazing things.... Or oversaw their creation.

Too many people in this world think he was the Ghandi of electronics and that's just not true. Not even close.
Rating: 13 Votes
50 months ago

Best quote of the day. Everyone knows that Steve was no saint. At the same time he did remarkably wonderful things. Seems the haters are gonna hate.

"no saint"?
You mean he was a complete *******. The way he treated his own child!
Apple are unhappy because a film is depicting their glorified computer salesman as a flawed human rather than as a God-like figure. Corporate fascists want to re-write history according to their own false twisted ideal.
Rating: 13 Votes
50 months ago

I was and am still looking forward to Alex Gibney's upcoming documentary on Scientology, but this Steve Jobs doc lowers the esteem I had for the filmmaker. It's great when you apply balls to the wall, muckracking investigations to an evil cult. Steve Jobs doesn't deserve that treatment. He raised the standards of everyone around him, was absolutely devoted to his work, and created an enormous amount of good in the world despite his personal flaws.

What makes Jobs not deserve that treatment? His accomplishments in consumer electronics? No one book or movie is going to paint a complete picture of Jobs. Whatever the author's/director's focus will dictate the tone of the project. Where one focuses on his drive and dedication to work, another will focus on his reputed lack of humanity; both only presenting a partial picture. The reader/viewer, depending on their bias, will decide whether or not the depiction is accurate in their eyes.

Cue saw him one way. His daughter probably initially saw him another. Others saw something totally different from them. Like all of us, he was probably saint and sinner, and varying degrees of each to different people day to day.

I don't know Jobs. Never met him. From what I do know, I can say I respect what he did as a business man, but have very little respect for his humanity. Those feelings aren't mutually exclusive and can coexist; even in an age where binary thought seems to rule internet forums.
Rating: 12 Votes
50 months ago
If I was Eddie I would say the same thing.
Even though the Documentary is 100% accurate.
If you compare another CEO (Name I will not mention ;) ) in regards to to philanthropic work, Jobs was a heartless, self serving,opportunist/capitalist who rode off the technological advancements of others while stealing, giving little to no credit where credit was due and suing others.
He had petty feuds with companies like Adobe after public acceptance swayed toward Flash instead of Quicktime and tried to patent simple existing standards like opening a blue URL link with a browser by touching it.

Steve Jobs really is not someone to revere. His ethics were deeply troubling and none of you should want your children to grow up as narcissistic and evil as he was.

I don't believe in God but I do believe in karma.

-Gates Out-
Rating: 12 Votes
50 months ago

From the Hollywood Reporter review...
"according to Steve Wozniak's account, Jobs swindled him out of 90% of his share of payment for work they did on Atari's Breakout game."

Basically, Jobs split Atari’s fee with Wozniak but secretly kept the extra bonus Atari paid for minimizing the number of chips the game required. Yes, a total dick move, one which has already been covered ad nauseaum. But when compared to how most companies treat their talent, was this really such a bad deal? How likely is Wozniak to have secured the deal with Atari without Jobs? How likely is he to have negotiated equal or better payment terms, given his propensity for giving away intellectual property and rarely thinking of the business opportunities for his inventions? What percentage of profits does a developer typically receive for a product he designs which is later sold by his employer?

News flash: Steve Jobs was not the perfect humanitarian. I wonder, though, how well Gibney's public image would fare if his own life were subjected to the same level of scrutiny. I doubt we'll ever know, since his accomplishments will never merit that level of interest.

Woz is a clever guy and made significant contributions to a nascent Apple, but his talents were by no means unique, nor were they essential to Apple's birth and eventual explosive growth. To put it another way, Jobs is far more likely to have found some other smart computer geek with whom to partner than Woz was to have met up with another visionary genius like Jobs.

In the end, Wozniak had a fruitful and lucrative career at Apple, and to this day lives what appears to be a happy life of financial independence. Additionally, he (technically) remains an employee of Apple (though I doubt he's doing any actual work for them) and receives a stipend, estimated to be $120K per year.

That's more than we can say for early collaborators in some other Silicon Valley giants - for example Zuckerberg's underhanded betrayal of Saverin and others, who were tricked into relinquishing their shares of the company.

I apologize if I am reading this incorrectly. Your quote reads like "let's take a dump on Woz to justify Jobs actions." That may not be your intent, but it surely discounts the contributions of the man. Then you go on the question the director's image and belittle his accomplishments. To top it off, you throw some Zuckerberg dirt on the pile. I mean, why not dredge up Gates, Ellison, or heck even Henry Ford while we're at it?:rolleyes:

Your one thought about the topic of the film? "News flash: Steve Jobs was not the perfect humanitarian." Nobody ever claimed Jobs to be perfect, but pointing at perceived issues with everyone else doesn't change who Jobs was.
Rating: 11 Votes
50 months ago
As with most arguments, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Rating: 10 Votes
50 months ago
The hero worship and denial of truth being expressed in this thread is bizarre, yet not unexpected.

The Church of Jobs is presently filled to capacity :)
Rating: 8 Votes

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