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

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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.

"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."
Very disappointed in SJ:Man in the Machine. An inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend. It s not a reflection of the Steve I knew. - Eddy Cue (@cue) March 16, 2015
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.

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

dstankus

macrumors member
May 19, 2010
98
11
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.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,884
4,697
For it to show all of Steve it would have to be 10+ years long. But nobody can spend their life just watching someone else's life. So it's a 2 hour trailer for a 10 year movie. You've watched 1/44000 of it. It's like complaining that a single frame doesn't capture an entire movie.
 

mac1984user

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2009
805
357
United Kingdom
I would quite like to see a book about Apple from 1988 to about 1997. I'd like it to include interviews with developers and employees at various levels of management. I've read Gil Amelio's book, 'On the Firing Line: 500 Days at Apple', but is there anything else out there? I find this period really fascinating.
 

tod

macrumors regular
Oct 3, 2009
158
92
Ohio
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.
 

Menopause

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2011
659
1,805
"Documentary maker". Hah. I call this shaved monkey a profiteer. Publish something controversial, it automatically garners attention and free publicity. Then make boatloads of money from people who love it and hate it. Saw it happening with "India's Daughters", will see this happen with this one too.
 

Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Jan 10, 2007
2,539
617
bleep
I, too, am looking forward to his Scientology documentary. The scientologists are in a tizzy about it, so it must be good.
 

tbrinkma

macrumors 68000
Apr 24, 2006
1,651
93
...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...
Technically, a DNA test only proves that he is the father, it says nothing about whether she was promiscuous, or he was infertile. Infertility is a condition where it is incredibly difficult, but not necessarily impossible to have a child. It is entirely possible to be correctly diagnosed as infertile, but still end up becoming a biological parent 'the old fashioned way'. This is especially true for men, because even the most infertile male *occasionally* produces a viable sperm, which makes conception *possible*.

Frankly, if you honestly believe you are infertile, and your ex turns up pregnant, it would be pretty stupid to just go 'oh, it must be mine', just because there's a 1:1,000,000,000 chance that it might be.

Note: Infertility is different than sterility, though they can be difficult to distinguish for extreme cases of infertility.
 

KdParker

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Oct 1, 2010
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Everywhere
Well...still not sure we need another Steve Jobs movie so soon.

I will not seek it out but if I happen upon it on a lazy day when there is nothing else for me to do or watch. I might let it play in the background.
 

WaxedJacket

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
585
826
I feel in this situation there's no win. Eddie should have just said "no comment" if asked about the movie.
 

freediverx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2006
985
945
Perspective...

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.
 

ooans

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2011
263
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If what the documentary said was the truth, it would be in Apple's best interest to deny it to avoid any negative publicity.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,522
14,224
In between a rock and a hard place
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.
 
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freediverx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2006
985
945
What makes Jobs not deserve that treatment?
The fact that it was an entirely negative attack piece that paints the distorted image of a psychopath when by most accounts he was a complex character whose good qualities outweighed the bad?
 

Thunderbird

macrumors 6502a
Dec 25, 2005
905
753
So, in other words, someone finally made a documentary about Saint Steve, warts and all?

Oh the humanity.
 

centauratlas

macrumors 65816
Jan 29, 2003
1,273
1,990
Florida
"huge corporate tax evasion,"

They do not know what "tax evasion" is vs tax avoidance. One is illegal, one is not. In the US, no one is legally obligated to pay extra taxes.

If they can't get a simple fact like that correct, I wouldn't be surprised they'd be filled with many more inaccuracies.
 

freediverx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2006
985
945
So, in other words, someone finally made a documentary about Saint Steve, warts and all?

Oh the humanity.
The same negative anecdotes were covered in Isaacson's biography. At least there, there was some attempt at balance. How would your biography look if the writer focused solely on everything you've done wrong?
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,522
14,224
In between a rock and a hard place
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.
 
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