No list of films about innovators would be complete without addressing Apple founder Steve Jobs. Two biographical films have already been made about him, but this one, starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet, is far superior to his “competition” jobswith Ashton Kutcher.
With scrolls to spare, Steve Jobs was directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) and written by Aaron Sorkin (The social network) and earned both Fassbender and Winslet Oscar nominations, though neither won.
The film is nominally based on Walter Isaacson’s exhaustive biography of Jobs, but the plot takes wide liberties with the facts in favor of a thesis about his character. An option that can have great results.
In this case, a novel structure is also added as far as biographical films are concerned, since, far from a linear narrative, they choose to focus on three key moments in Jobs’s life (three launches of his products), to portray the man and show how he came to be the industry giant loved and hated alike. From start to finish, the film belongs to Fassbender, who does indeed give a phenomenal performance. In addition, the supporting cast accompanies at all times with, in addition to Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels and Michael Stuhlbarg, among others. A film worth judging for yourself.
Available in Clear Video.
Not much given to interviews or personal media exposure, Bill Gates made an exception with this three-part documentary. Thanks to his access to in-depth interviews, Inside Bill’s Brain is dedicated to exploring his figure in two facets: the personal and the philanthropic.
Thus, the narration intersperses Gates’ work in the foundation he has, with revelations about his private life, from his childhood dominated by a strong matriarch, until he left the management of Microsoft and beyond.
The film’s director is a recognized name in the genre: Davis Guggenheim, winner of an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truthon climate change, and director of He Named me Malalaabout the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, and Waiting for Supermanabout the American public education system. On this occasion, Guggenheim becomes one more protagonist of the production, appearing on camera and interviewing Gates himself.
The documentary also makes very effective use of animation, including to recreate passages from the tycoon’s personal life, such as his childhood, when he met his ex-wife, or when he was in the midst of creating Microsoft.
Although the film could have more depth in the darker aspects of the figure of Gates, in any case the emotional revelations that it achieves are very interesting, especially his friendship with the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, and the conflicts that he had with his mother.
In addition, the frustrations, failures and challenges he faces in his philanthropic role make it clear that no matter how many millions of dollars, desires and geniuses are at hand, sometimes reality simply makes you fall. Here, Gates tackles the problem of improving healthcare in India, ending polio in the world, and establishing nuclear power as a clean alternative to fossil fuels. In all three tasks he falls short.
Available on Netflix.
Bill’s Brain’s spiritual brother, How to be Warren Buffett it shares a certain focus with the previous documentary, devoting time to both its protagonist’s personal life and his philanthropic endeavors. In addition, Bill Gates and Buffett are close friends, so both appear in each other’s documentaries, and even share some of the same anecdotes.
Less known in this part of the world than Gates, Warren Buffett is not far behind in the fortune item. He is one of the richest men in the world, with capital valued at 116 billion dollars. But the grace of this production is the peculiarity of his protagonist and the revelations that having his full cooperation achieves.
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Buffett has agreed to give four in-depth interviews for the film, featuring his sons, sisters, friends and associates. Thus, the portrait emerges not only of a brilliant investor, whose talent earned him the nickname “the oracle of Omaha”, with a prodigious memory for figures and a great eye for business. But also a father who was not always emotionally present, despite going to eat at the house every day (the same one he bought decades ago, for $31,500, and where he still lives). And a mediocre husband who, after actually separating, ended up having an unconventional arrangement. One that, according to himself, defines on the tape, “one in a thousand works”, and that in essence consisted of the fact that he had two wives.
All this is told in a pleasant tone, without sensationalism or great filmic ambitions, but managing to create great interest in the figure that is portrayed.
Available on HBO Max.
Not all filmmakers seek to tackle stories of the biggest names and the most overwhelming successes or the most resounding failures. The New Hustle takes the story of three successful Australian companies and uses them to show the ups and downs of founding a startup.
Thus, the film addresses the stumbles and successes of Luke Anear, creator and CEO of SafetyCulture, an app focused on the safety of workers in different industries. Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, the co-founders of Canva, the most famous of the three companies, a platform that provides templates to design all kinds of graphic material; and that is currently valued at US $40 billion. And Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry, who invented Vinomofo, a wine startup that had to overcome multiple adversities to sell millions of bottles in its different markets.
The grace of the approach of this documentary is not only that it shows the whole, sometimes tortuous road to success and consolidation of an innovative company, but also that it does so with a lot of humor. Its five protagonists tell the problems of the past with a comic sense and narrate their stories in an entertaining way and without being presumptuous.
Thanks to the fact that there are three such different businesses, there are topics of interest, anecdotes and approaches to business for all tastes. From the classic story of leaving in the garage of the house, to stealing an engineer from Google and even the two combis that one of them had to buy because the first one was falling apart and they needed it at the beginning of the venture.
The documentary does not extend, it goes to the point and effectively portrays what it wants to show. You can not ask for much more. In addition, it is appreciated that it shows a reality beyond the United States.
Available on YouTube.
The innovators obviously also give great material to tackle them in fiction and Joy is an example of a rags-to-riches story thanks to an invention. The film directed by David O. Russell (American Hustle) and starring Jennifer Lawrence, focuses on the true experiences of Joy Mangano, a businesswoman and inventor who made her fortune thanks to a self-squeezing mop.
The film tells precisely the adventures and misadventures that the protagonist has on her way to consolidate her first fortune. Although in real life, Mangano later continued to amass money with other products, the film only tells of her first great triumph.
The cast also includes Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Isabella Rosellini. Even Melissa Rivers, daughter of Joan Rivers, makes a cameo playing her mother.
Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the film and won the Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy. Although, as often happens, a certain category fraud can be alleged since, despite the fact that the film has its touches of humor, it is more of a classic drama. The film does not reinvent the wheel of the genre, but it is a correct feature film with a story of a woman who overcomes adversity to win almost everything.
Available in Star+