As I finish typing this sentence, Alex Gibney has finished another documentary. The prolific documentarian already stoked the flames of controversy earlier this year with his scathing documentary on Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Now, Gibney is getting set for his latest documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. Perhaps enough time has passed since the surprising death of Apple’s guru that the film might be able to avoid the blind hagiography that became associated with Jobs in the wake of his death. Gibney has shown himself capable of exploring the differences between public and private personas in his documentaries on Elliot Spitzer and Lance Armstrong, and he’ll likely be able to contrast Steve Jobs the visionary and Steve Jobs the hot-tempered capitalist.
I respect the prolific nature of Gibney, but I’m not necessiarily a fan of the Oscar-winner’s work, especially his Spitzer documentary Client 9. But Going Clear was a smart, nuanced work, and here’s hoping that he brings that same touch when profiling a man who changed the world by making toys for adults. Of course, it could be said that Gibney’s portrait of Jobs and Apple would be the filmmaker’s second exploration of cults this year.
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine opens in select theaters and VOD on September 4th, 2015.
The official synopsis for Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine:
In his signature black turtleneck and blue jeans, shrouded in shadow below a milky apple, Steve Jobs’ image was ubiquitous. But who was the man on the stage? What accounted for the grief of so many across the world when he died? From Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, ‘Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine’ is a critical examination of Jobs who was at once revered as an iconoclastic genius and a barbed-tongued tyrant. A candid look at Jobs’ legacy featuring interviews with a handful of those close to him at different stages in his life, the film is evocative and nuanced in capturing the essence of the Apple legend and his values which shape the culture of Silicon Valley to this day.