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If there's one entrepreneur that deserves a seventy-two minute
theatrical interview, it's Apple's Steve Jobs. Whether or not you like
or support the infectious company, it is no doubt that Jobs was an
incredible man of business, craft, and personality, one who provided
shock treatment to Apple when bankruptcy was looming and one of
incredible enigma and intelligence.
In 1995, filmmaker Robert X. Cringley sat down with the legendary Jobs
a decade after he departed from Apple after contentious, power-hungry
relations with John Sculley. At seventy-two minutes, a lengthy
interview with Jobs was exceptionally rare due to the fact that he
stayed out of the limelight and rarely let his true charisma and
insight be revealed to the public. During this time, Jobs was the
founder of his self-made company, NeXT, which he would then sell to
Apple in 1996 to become the CEO of the company, producing a number of
gadgets and time-savers that would eventually morph into things people
seemingly couldn't live without. He makes very clear in the interview
that he wants to make each generation better and better with a new and
consistent line of technology. It's 2012, and we have already met such
works as the iPod, the iPhone, the iTouch, the Mac computer, and the
iPad, so it's needless to say that Jobs had hastily worked to make that
vision a reality.
The interview was filmed, some of it was spliced into Cringley's PBS
series Triumph of the Nerd, until the entire thing was reportedly lost
after being shipped from New York en-route to London. Not long after
Jobs' death, it was discovered on VHS and released theatrically in very
limited theaters and is now currently on several video on demand
services before its official DVD release later this summer.
During the interview, the loquacious, attentive, and always engaged
Jobs talks in great lengths about his humble beginnings and
fascinations with computers, how he researched at Hewlett-Packard, his
friendship with Steve Wozniak, and gives a meticulous account of his
vision for the future, his bold ideas, and continually presents himself
with his unconditional charm and insights on his life and interests.
One of Jobs' many metaphorical references to his life is how, when he
was young, he assisted an elderly man with chores that lived on his
block, despite his ominous appearance and vibes. One day, the man
showed him a rock-tumbler, where he put in ugly-looking stones, some
liquid, and some grit-powder. He told Jobs to come back the next day,
and when he did, the stones were shiny and polished, from the intense
liquid bath and the friction they created from rubbing against each
other. Jobs states that humans are the same way when put in a situation
together that tests them intellectually. They will have to clash with
other people, share different ideas, maybe argue a little bit, before
creating something that is unique and impressive.
One of the final questions brought up by interviewer Cringley (who is
heard, but never seen) is what are Jobs' views on Microsoft as a
company. "Microsoft is McDonalds," Jobs replies. He states how they
have a great success story and model, but have no creativity or
substance behind their relatively bland products - strangely harsh
words from a man so close with Bill Gates. But the interview itself it
full of these kinds of surprises.
Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview can't be called a film, for as it is one
long, static shot of Steve Jobs, occasionally interrupted by a
freeze-frame and a voice-over of Cringley wording the questions he
remembers asking, and begins with a very brief introduction explaining
the origins of this interview by Cringley himself. The only problem in
sight with the interview is it neglects to provide the viewer with more
context or history leading up to this point in Jobs' life. The
filmmakers were probably riveted to find the lost footage and anxiously
impatient to show it to the public as fast as possible. Nevertheless,
the raw footage we get is compelling and intriguing and could brew a
new documentary on Jobs in and of itself.
Starring: Steve Jobs and Robert X. Cringley. Directed by: Paul Sen.
Tags for Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview Full Movie
Robert X. Cringely
, Steve Jobs
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