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Wozniak complains about Jobs; Assange complains about The Fifth Estate

Ethics.jpgIt seems that people who are portrayed in film are often unhappy about the way they are shown no matter how factually correct the film may be, however usually the complaints occur when the film is about to be released or when it has been and the media is doing the rounds for it.

However two films have been hit by negative comments from people who are portrayed in the film before they've been completed never mind released, one when just a clip has been shown and the other when the first production still has been released online.

The first complaint comes from the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the man who actually invented the first two Apple computers, he has seen the first clip of the film jOBS starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and Josh Gad as himself, and has been none too positive.

According to The Guardian he commented online against the clip's premiere on Gizmodo (sorry, no link given), the clip that showed him stating rather powerfully that nobody would want to buy a computer and being very negative to the idea of it being sold to other people who might want to use it. Indeed the clip does suggest that he is trying to stop Jobs from delivering the computer to the people, that's certainly the tone.

The article quotes him as saying that the portrayal is not even close and that he and Jobs never had a meeting like this, he even went so far as to say that the personalities of both characters are very wrong and that he wasn't sure what the scene was trying to say about the characters.

I think I am. The clip does give you the sense that Wozniak doesn't understand the potential of what he is doing, he doesn't see that other people could want it and is actually trying to stop it from being sold on. Jobs is portrayed as the man who has the vision of what the computer could be to people, the visionary. Wozniak doesn't agree and he suggests that Jobs wasn't the blinding white light many think:

"His idea was to make a $20 PC board and sell it for $40 to help people at the club build the computer I'd given away. He always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs."

Meanwhile Jullian Assange has been hitting out about The Fifth Estate, the WikiLeaks film that sees him played by Benedict Cumberbatch. So far only a production still has been released for the film but Assange says that he's seen a copy of the script and is calling it a massive propaganda attack.

The still shows Cumberbatch as Assange with Daniel Brühl next to him as his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg, nothing more has been released as yet.

Speaking during an Oxford Union debate and broadcasting from his hidey-hole at the Ecuadorian embassy in London The Guardian quote him as saying that he had read a copy of the script and that the film was...

"...a lie upon a lie..."

He commented on the opening scenes showing the inside of an Iranian military complex with nuclear symbols in clear view and that this was clearly fanning the flames of war and that the film is...

"...a massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff."

Apparently he was holding a copy of the script but he did not show it to camera and instead mentioned a few scenes which he stated were lies.

Earlier the director Bill Condon had stated the position of the film:

"It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it's revolutionised the spread of information. So this film won't claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment. We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked."

Which I think is fair enough, and it sounds like the film could just be trying to show both sides of the story and not just the WikiLeaks-Assange side, something a film should indeed do.

It's interesting to see people leaping up against films about them before they are even released or even have a trailer and yet I wonder if they were leaping up against the books that both these films in question are based upon, in fact the WikiLeaks film is based on two separate books.

Were they as vocal about those portrayals or did they just ignore them as they weren't going to get that big an audience as the films would?

It will be interesting to see both films with the knowledge of how these people are unhappy about their portrayal, but I wonder is it the best thing to be open and vocal about it or is it better to take the Zuckerberg approach and just keep quiet being polite but dismissive when asked?




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Movable Type 3.34

Cindy: Can you tell me what this is all about?
Matrix: Yeah, a guy I trusted for years wants me dead.
Cindy: That's understandable. I've only known you for five minutes and I want you dead, too.
- Commando