First, as your movie reviewer, if you are looking for a history of Apple or even Jobs himself, this movie will disappoint you. The movie is an existential dissection of a genius coupled with Danny Boyle's deep ambivalence about the computer. The first scene is the essence of the movie, my friends. We see Arthur C. Clarke, a votary of technology, telling the reporter (a stand in for Boyle) how the computer will be in everyone's house by 2001. In the middle of his worship, the reporter points out how empty and antisocial a life it will be. Clarke takes mild umbrage and tells him how it will liberate everyone geographically. Now, you will understand why we labor upon Job's divorced wife and denied daughter. This is the paradox of Boyle's Jobs: he invents a machine that connects the world but he is so interiorized, like all geniuses, that he cannot relate to other human beings. Notice how he reverses himself with child support for Lisa when she uses his 'child', the Mac, to draw with MacPaint. Jobs then tells the mother he will write a blank check. This is the key to the movie, the Mac is Steve Job's existential offspring as much as Beethoven's symphonies were his jealously guarded progeny. When Jobs speaks of the Mac you will always hear paternal argot more appropriate for a father speaking of his child.
The other key scene is where we learn about his orphan past where he says,"I never understand people who surrender control, I never would." This deep rejection is the engine that drives him relentlessly forwards; it explains the bizarre anomalies: special tools, two ports, the cube slightly off, no acknowledgment for the Apple 2 and his hatred / contempt for the consumers who are buying his child. My favorite scene in the movie is where Lisa senses the deep anguish driving this man forward, she wordlessly runs across the room and hugs him. Fassbender does so well here, notice how all the rage and fury evaporate from his face for just an instant. We see the only scene of him at peace in the whole movie. This is what he seeks, the rejected orphan pushing himself forward. Listen to his language,"I feel like Julius Caesar surrounded by enemies." The iconic tearful decent in the elevator, after the Apple board votes him out, also is Boyle's image of Steve Job's personality. Yes, detractors, I have heard awful things about the man's factories in Asia, how wretched the working conditions were. I am just reviewing the movie, I defer to others who have better knowledge of the actual Steve Job's life.
What is the point? The point is Boyle shares many of our ambivalencies about the computer being either 'social' or 'entirely a positive.' When you walk into a room and everyone is glued to their devices you may see what Boyle is driving at here. The man who connected the world runs after a grown Lisa who just called his iMac a 'suzy bake oven,' and stormed off. He clings to this one connection to humanity. This is the motif, the rejected genius driven relentlessly forward, so interiorized that people don't really exist for him. He only forms the bond with Lisa when she uses his 'child' for drawing. I recommend the movie to you as a look inside the mind of a genius. He is not idealized, his cruelty and ruthlessness are on full display. Especially to Daniels, he is as cold as ice. This is why my favorite scene works so well, when he gets the love he was denied, we see the driven fury dissipate from his angry face. The movie not only conveys the mind of a genius but also Boyle's deep ambivalence about the computer that you saw in the opening scene. This was the deep pathos of Boyle's Jobs, he connects the world but he lives deep within his mind obsessed with his existential offspring: The Mac. Like Beethoven, he treats everyone around him simply ghastly. His ontological interiority is almost impenetrable, only Lisa seems to break through his deep reveries.
The movie, despite its flaws, is an excellent look into the ontology of a genius: their psychological isolation from the rest of the human race. I am typing this on an iMac, my voice heard by people around the world thanks to Steve Jobs. Those of you who believe in an afterlife, like me, can but hope that the man finally received the peace he never found in this life. Fassbender gives the best performance of his I have ever seen; I was also impressed with Winslet who has come a long way from Titanic. A Good Movie. Q.E.D. Deus Vobiscum Steve.
"There Is No Genius Without A Touch Of Madness." Seneca
Action / Biography / Drama / History
Action / Biography / Drama / History
His passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age. However his drive to revolutionize technology was sacrificial. Ultimately it affected his family life and possibly his health. In this revealing film we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, the late CEO of Apple inc. Steven Paul Jobs.
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February 03, 2016 at 11:05 PM