During a special event at the Goldsmith Family Cinema, students, faculty, and members of the community were provided an opportunity to see “Steve Jobs” before it hits theaters, in a screening on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle and written by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin, “Steve Jobs” is set backstage at three iconic product launches. The film takes the audience behind the scenes of the digital revolution.
Students who attended the event noted that it was exciting to have the rare opportunity to see a pre-screening in the Goldsmith Family Cinema, as the Wesleyan Film Series only shows previously released films.
“The event was very pleasant,” said Molly Byrne ’18. “It was nice to be able to see a current film in the Goldsmith, especially because I am in a silent film class and all I have been watching are super old 16mm prints. This particular showing was exciting because it is so new, and because this is not just a blockbuster, but a fall movie.”
Emily Feher ’17 said that as a film major, she is has a great appreciation for Sorkin’s writing.
“I’m a film major and a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin’s writing, and especially his other biopic, ‘The Social Network’,” Feher said.
She added that it was Sorkin’s writing that made the movie as amazing as it was.
“It didn’t feel much like a Danny Boyle film, except for some fantastical sequences that didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the movie,” she said. “It really made me want to read the book it was based on, especially since my family has been using Macs since I was a kid.”
Eli Sands ’18 explained the other draws to the film, including its cast.
“I was already excited for the movie because of the names attached to it like Aaron Sorkin, Kate Winslet, and Michael Fassbender, but there was another reason that made me enjoy the screening so much,” Sands said. “Sitting in the Goldsmith Family Cinema when it’s full of other Wesleyan folks, both friends and strangers, who are also looking forward to the movie just as much, made the screening a really special event. It’s a lot like when everyone got up to dance in front of the screen during last week’s showing of ‘Stop Making Sense,’ when the movie became more like an event or a party.”
Feher agreed, adding that she has loved Fassbender since his appearances in “Fish Tank” and “Inglourious Basterds.”
Bryne noted the film’s success in portraying realism.
“I think [the film] was effective at portraying Jobs as a hyper-rational, almost disturbingly focused perfectionist,” she said. “But it drew attention to the fact that this is as much the reason for his brilliance as it is the reason he is unable to connect with the people he loves.”
Extra security measures were taken in order to prevent pirating of the film. Sands found these efforts to be especially amusing.
“My favorite moment of the evening was this: Before the movie itself began, there was a warning before the movie that there were officers in the room with night vision goggles, watching for anyone who might try to pirate the movie,” he said. “If anyone was seen so much as taking out their cell phone during the movie, the screening would be stopped and the perpetrator removed. My friend a couple of seats away then said, ‘Will we get a point?’ and everyone nearby laughed.”
The film was based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the Apple founder. It concluded with the unveiling of the iMac computer in 1998. Sands stated that overall, watching the film was a satisfactory experience, but there were some small aspects that he questioned.
“‘Steve Jobs’ was really enjoyable and emotional,” Sands said. “Even if it’s not a perfect portrayal of the real people involved with Apple, it’s a smart movie. If I had to nitpick beyond that I’d say that the song that played during the final scene… felt corny and out of place in an otherwise good score. It sounds like a small issue but it threw the ending off for me. But what do I know, right?”