The One and the Many

Steve Jobs (2015 film)

I saw this film this week. I had already seen two other films about Steve Jobs (Pirates of Silicon Valley and Jobs with Ashton Kutcher). I also read a recent authorized biography of him.

This film was very different from the others I've seen. They were far more about building the company and his journey. This was about him as a person and showing him in his element too (product reveals were a large element of what he did, at least to an outsider).

While it did show him as a big asshole in a way, it was far more about showing him as a human being than I think the other films tried to do. It showed a side to him that has not been looked at as much. It showed him being weak in some ways and vulnerable. Showing him being inhuman somehow made him human.

It was surprising how the film showed how important his first daughter was to him. It was almost as if she shaped him to become who he was. We start out at the launch of the Lisa computer which he named after her and from then on she seems central to his life. She is the only one who he seems to care about what she thinks. Everyone else he knows he is right.

He is shown to care for no opinion except his own. Yet at one point he is shown - about being wrong about a magazine cover - that his opinion is not always accurate.

It is an interesting film but I do not like the glorification of someone who was essentially a business tycoon. It is far too much like raising consumerism as a god. He touched a lot of lives but there is something distasteful about how much attention he receives. It makes me think about the contrast between people like J.D. Salinger who prized privacy so much as well since Steve Jobs apparently has no privacy left.

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