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Semaphore Film Series – The Pirates of Silicon Valley


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The Semaphore Research Cluster is hosting a new film screening series exploring issues and depictions of start-up culture and the business of technology in contemporary films.

Through six film screenings, participants are invited to discover and discuss business and technology in movies. The entrepreneur is integral to the world of business–a world that is outside the bubble of academia and public service.  What can we learn from the entrepreneur? How is this poster child of governments and neo-liberal think tanks showcased in films? How does the university student, hoping to find a good job, feel about entrepreneurship and its idealization?

PayPal’s founder, Peter Thiel, argued that entrepreneurs should skip education. How does technology, the entrepreneur’s aide de camp help justify the former’s credibility? As technology mesmerizes, so does the heroes that conceive it and sell it to the public.

Each film covers a different facet of the start up and technology. Each screening is followed by a moderated critical discussion. While the series covers the traditional view of what an entrepreneur and a technology start up is about, the selection also touches on alternative business models such as social enterprises and cooperatives. A Quebec-produced two-part mini-series on inventor Bombardier provides a Canadian perspective with a clin d’oeil to Harold Innis.

About the Film:

The Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999) – 95 minutes, Marty Burke (director)
The social engineering of the business empires of Bill Gates’s Microsoft and Steve Jobs’s Apple
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168122/

Check-In Attendees
Semaphore Film Series – The Pirates of Silicon Valley