29 November 2015

Steve Jobs - A Pain In The Art?

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I guess the general vibe of the world is that nobody likes their boss. I mean, I know for fact that I couldn't fucking stand the Guy that I previously worked for. In case you didn't get that very un-gettable inside reference, the twat's name was Guy, but for the sake of some anonymity we'll just call him Mr Williams. Anyway- Mr Williams was one of those people who expected you to pull the moon out of your arse despite every one of his instructions being completely contradictory, impossible, or not my fucking responsibility. Danny Boyle's latest film Steve Jobs depicts an equally demented piece of shit, although at least this chap is changing the world instead of making pennies from a crappy sheet-metal company. The film is broken up into three very distinct acts with each third focusing on the avalanche of technical and personal problems that Jobs has shat on him before launching several new products. Of course everybody will be allowed their own interpretation of the film, but for me it's about one of two things.. either it's about art and what it means to be an artist or it's the story of a total fucking psychopath. Despite his loyal army of fanboys, the film depicts Jobs as what I'd call “a total Guy Williams” and what the rest of the world would probably just call a cunt. 

They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, however this was clearly not the case for Jobs who dedicated his life to Apple Inc. before being fucked into the grave by cancer. However, is this really true? I mean, obviously he did die of cancer, but did he dedicate his life to Apple Inc? According to this film he did, but how true are the events that are depicted here? To be honest, the reality is that I don't have a clue, and also I don't really care. As mentioned, the film takes place in three distinct acts, each one years apart from the last allowing us to see how the issues from the previous third have evolved over time. However there's an obvious element of contrivance here if we're to believe that every so many years the same few people find their way to Jobs to have a slanging match about the same old shit as last time. I guess you could justify this by arguing that these figures have probably been fighting with him on a daily basis too, with these pre-launches simple being a Thunderdome of screaming because he's actually gotten them all in the same room at the same time. The problem for me however, was when they'd refer back to an exact line that they'd said in one of the previously featured arguments from several years ago. It's kind of like that bit in Clerks 2 when Randal asks if Dante remembers saying it was time for him to “shit or get off the pot” and you think “no, why the fuck would he?”  

However if I'm honest, I'm pretty sure that not only does the film not give a shit about this but it's actually kind of the point. To some degree, the idea of a cinematic biopic in general is kind of insane because there's no way that you can convey the infinite nuances of a human's life and personality in just two hours. I've been forced into conversations with nutters at bus-stops that have lasted longer than that and I can honestly say that I've learnt nothing more about their life beyond the fact that they think we're ruled by lizards and they stink of piss. Also, take someone random like Piers Morgan for example.. to some he's an entertaining chat-show host, but to others he's an intolerable, lying, greasy-faced, shithead. Who is right? Well, obviously the people that think he's a shithead, but I suppose it's all about interpretation. Is this film a biopic of Steve Jobs? Well, yes.. but it's a man's entire life that's been turned into a book by Walter Isaacson, adapted into a film script by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Danny Boyle, and portrayed by Michael Fassbender. It's gone through so many people that to suggest that we're actually looking back in time would be as dishonest and mental as those pricks who bullshit about having and remembering a past life.  

However, near the start of the film, Jobs is having trouble admitting that he has a daughter and so treats the little scamp like a lump of dog shit that he's spotted in the corner of somebody else's house. He might not like it, but he refuses to acknowledge the problem as his own. This is until the little girl does him a crap drawing on the Mac that he's about to display to the world. For the first time in the film, Jobs shows that he's capable of warmth, although it's presumed that this is because somebody actually enjoyed his product as opposed to being proud of what the kid can do. Understandable too because as with all drawings by children, it's a total piece of shit that the little bitch expects praise for. Obviously he asks her what the fuck her scatty doodles are, to which she gives the most pretentious answer a child could possible give - “It's abstract”. This moment will be used again throughout the movie to try to hint that Jobs might not be the single-minded twat-bot that he clearly is. But not only that, it's also the film explaining and justifying its slightly odd structure and relationship to the truth. To quote Google, “Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead uses shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.” The creative team behind the film are aware that a truly honest biopic is realistically impossible and so opt to instead give you a flavour of the man as seen through the filter of their own cinematic vision. It just so happens that when looking at Jobs, they seem to have their filter stuck on the 'twat' setting. 

However, that's not to say that they don't try to define their own version of the man who seems to know fuck all about the technicalities of his field. At one point, one of Jobs few friends rattles off a list of roles that everybody working on a project does before accusingly asking “What do you do?” Jobs' simple answer is “I play the Orchestra”. Of course, had I received a similar response from my old boss Mr Williams, I'd have probably launched myself over his desk and taken a rage-shit on his face. However in the film's version of Jobs, there's a truth to his condescending answer - that's exactly what he does do. He starts with a vision of what he wants to achieve, obsesses over every small detail of how it works on the surface, then screams at the experts around him to make it happen. Organising any sized group of humanity is a ball-ache of epic proportions and we live in a world in which somebody invented the idea of a lolly-pop that's shaped like a cock. Jobs not only managed to bully a team of geniuses into doing exactly what he wanted, but his ideas have changed the world. Maybe he didn't have any technical ability but clearly whatever he did do took talent. To go back to the theory of this film being about art and what it is to be an artist, it's hard not to see parallels between his role and that of a film director. Do I think some prick like Hitchcock could operate a camera? I doubt it. But Kim Novak gave a phenomenal performance in his masterpiece Vertigo, and by all accounts he bullied the shit out of her to achieve it.   

Ironically, this is also the genius that director Danny Boyle seems to have brought to the project too. In the past his creativity has been distinctively his own, with his visual style being one of the many things which elevates his own low-budget movies. Here however he seems to rein himself in, allowing Sorkin's rapid-fire script to flow freely from the mouth of a cast that's at the top of their game. I completely believed Fassbender's performance all the way through, and that's despite the third act in which he begins to oddly resemble the radio presenter Simon Mayo. Arguably though this quietness is Boyle simply going back to his roots as a theatre director, with the film also having an obviously theatrical structure. I guess what I'm getting at is that, of all Boyle's films, this is the one that looks the least as though it belongs to him. In a world of gay people, transsexuals, and people who insist on sticking labels on things, you wouldn't be wrong to refer to this as more of a Sorkin film than a Danny Boyle one. Having said that though, it's obvious that the film works because of how it deals with its own script and the performances at the centre of it. In a lesser director's hands, these could all have been trampled to shit due an egotistical need to receive credit. Like Jobs and whatever the fuck he was working on, the reason this film is as brilliant as it is, is simply because Boyle was able to “play the orchestra”. Danny Boyle is without a doubt one of my favourite directors and the character of Steve Jobs is presented here as a megalomaniacal genius. But lets not forget the real reason that we're all here.. to remember that I hate my old boss Mr Williams and to reiterate that he is very definitely a cunt. Thanks for reading motherfuckers, and see you next time.
 

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