It's kinda apt that the premiere for a movie all about crazy Mac users should be held at this year's Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Apple has recently announced that this will be its last at the huge Mac industry love-in, as well as disappointing everyone that its iconic Steve Jobs keynote is no more.
MacHEADS The Movie - come on guys, Apple would never include so many inter-caps in a product title - is an hour-long documentary on the power of the Macintosh community, featuring interviews with former Apple employees, industry commentators and a fair bunch of nutcases.
The first person interviewed, who at the end of the documentary berates the director for not filming in high def, answers the question "How has the Mac changed your life?" by stating: "It kept me isolated, it kept me from having a wife, it kept me from having a life".
The film crew scans along endless lines of tired but bubbly Mac users queuing to get into the Macworld Steve Jobs keynote (RIP) and at product launches, such as that for the original iPhone.
There's some great archive footage from the very first Macworld Expo in 1985, as well as subsequent shows, plus old interviews with Apple luminaries such as co-founder Steve Wozniak and new insights from former Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki.
The industry commentators include Macworld wit Andy Ihnatko, Adam Engst, ‘Cult of Mac' author Leander Kahney, Shawn King and a sex columnist who swears she would never willingly sleep with a Windows user.
My favourite footage is from a Mac repair shop, with poignant scenes of mournful Mac users stroking their old, broken Apple computers like pet owners at the vets.
It's the nuts, though, that steal the show. One kindly-looking but over-colourful couple featured include a husband who has created his own computer museum on a farm and his wife who is writing an "opera for pigs". Even she, of the multicoloured frock coat and luminous hair, calls the Mac community "nutloafs".
No one has ‘normal' hair. Some have no hair, others way too much, but most just don't know what to do with it.
MacHEADS enjoys furthering the Mac user stereotype - some of these guys would freak out even the most committed nerds. There's even a short scene showing people praying to Steve Jobs.
Maybe that's why image-conscious control-freak Steve Jobs wants to distance himself and his company from these users.
In a premonition of Apple pulling out of Macworld Expo, the movie ends rather sadly, ruminating on the possible end of the Mac community - driven apart by the Internet, age and an uncaring Apple itself.
Your Mac Life host Shawn King sums it up when he says: "Apple is just another big corporate American company. It's the community that you want to talk about, that's cool, that you love. Don't love Apple, love the community."
MacHEADS is a fun film full of crazies, vintage Mac clips and a little insight into a community that appears to be on the verge of extinction. I haven't been to a Macworld keynote for a couple of years - but had been to plenty from 1995-2004 - and MacHEADS made me nostalgic for their sense of camaraderie and I'm sorry I'm not there for the last one.
MacHEADS - directed by Kobi and Ron Shely - has its premiere at Macworld Expo on Wednesday January 7, 2009.
MacHEADS the Movie: Specs
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There's a great documentary to be made about the history of Apple, its sudden rise, near death and resurrection. MacHEADS is not it, but its focus on the weird world of the devotee makes it a wonderful social document in the history of people's computing.