Alex Gibney Addresses Some Hard Truths in 'Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine'

Peter Kafka interviews documentarian Alex Gibney about his new film.
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Peter Kafka interviews documentarian Alex Gibney about his new film, "Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine."

"Gibney certainly takes an unusual approach," Kafka explains. "Rather than a straightforward life story, the movie focuses on a handful of moments in Jobs's life that many biographies don't linger on, like Apple's stock options backdating scandal.

"That allows Gibney to play rare — and fascinating — footage of Jobs parrying with Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers during a 2008 deposition. But be warned! It also makes for a downbeat movie."

Gibney says of Jobs in the interview, "I'm conflicted about him. I recognize a lot of myself in him, in the fact that I work very hard, probably to the detriment of the time I spend with my family. And the people in my company also work very very hard. So in many ways I kind of applaud that. And also there was a kind of questing for perfection.

"But also at the same time, I'm appalled, really, by his cruelty, and his inability to get outside himself, and to see himself and his company in a broader perspective.

"There's a religion around Apple," Gibney admits, "and some won't like [the film] at all. I think some hopefully will see it in a broader perspective. One of the reasons for me making this film was to offer something of a corrective. There’s been a lot of hagiography of Steve. I don’t think that does justice to the man. So hopefully they’ll see it in that context." To read the full interview, click here.

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