iSteve: Jobs Bio-Video, Parody Mockumentary Mocks Documentaries

Those looking for a Will Farrell-style comedy will be sorely disappointed with this week’s release of the iSteve parody mockumentary by the Funny or Die website. Those looking for anything even approaching a serious documentary will also be sorely disappointed. This video is more about poking fun at those who presume to do “serious” documentaries than anything else. There’s a long disclaimer at the end of the video emphasizing that this is a work of fiction, and that that should be obvious to anyone. In fact, it’s almost an “inside baseball” kind of thing where the jokes work better the more you know that the story they’re telling with this video has very little to do with the actual details of Steve Jobs’ life. One can imagine that the writer of iSteve, after hearing the writer of the more prestigious Jobs’ bio-pic, Aaron Sorkin, say that he wasn’t going to try to tell the whole story but was going to select five events in Jobs’ life and hang the narrative from them, that he could easily do the same thing. Reportedly the iSteve writer wrote his version in one day after reading some information about Jobs from his Wikipedia page. If you are a fan of geek-history AND have a good sense of humor AND understand that documentaries are NOT journalism, then this is an enjoyable film. Let’s just say that this version of Jobs’ life isn’t any worse than most bio-flicks where one encounters the disclaimer “based on real events”… meaning that there was this guy named Steve Jobs who grew up in California, went to India in 1970s and had something to do with Apple Computer. I appreciated this video more than “Pirates of Silicon Valley” whom many geeks revere as “history” but is also loosely based on “life events” and got it wrong at some critical points (for example, Microsoft did not fake out IBM into letting them create DOS… but that’s too “inside baseball” too). iSteve pokes fun at bio-pics more than anything else.

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