In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_momo_poster

A Letter to Momo

Even scenes that work, such as a climax on a rain-soaked bridge, feel like they could have been trimmed by a few hand-drawn frames. Maybe…

Thumb_69rzzkn5scyaqf9fhbegvjhsrmb

Cannibal

Visually striking and confident but frustratingly hollow in terms of character and narrative.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview

Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview Movie Review
  |  

If Steve Jobs was right in 1995 and the computer is the most important tool in the history of the human race, then he was the most important toolmaker. In that year he was in exile from Apple, fired by the company he co-founded, and running his own much smaller company named NeXT. Soon he would sell NeXT to Apple and become Apple's CEO. Ahead lay a new generation of Macs and iPhones, iPods and lots of cool iStuff.

Jobs rarely sat down for interviews. He was highly conscious of message control as a part of marketing; note how tight Apple's security is on new product introductions. In 1995 he sat down for a 70-minute interview with Robert X. Cringely, technology writer and blogger. Bites from it were used in "Triumph of the Nerds," Cringely's PBS series. Most of it has never been seen and was thought to be lost en route from London to New York. Recently, Cringely says in his intro to this doc, a copy was found in London. Now, soon after Jobs' death on Oct. 5, it's being shown via HDNet in Landmark Theaters in 19 cities, including Chicago's Landmark Century. Most cities will see it at 7:15 and 9 p. m. on Nov. 16 and 17. In Palo Alto, where he lived and died, it will play for a week.

He and Cringely (a former Apple employee) were on good terms, and Jobs was unusually open. One of his motives was that he believed Apple was on a slow slide into extinction. He's frank about John Sculley, the executive he hired and who pushed him out: Scully knew little about computers but a great deal about survival.

Jobs was 40 when this interview took place. He recalls with savor the early days when he and Steve Wozniak built the Apple I in a garage, and unknowingly invented cell phones by rigging it to send a telephone call around the world to ring the pay phone next door a minute later. "We realized we two could control billions of dollars in infrastructure!" he smiles. He also remembers them calling the Pope and hanging up when they realized they'd actually gotten through.

He tells the story of how he saw a Graphical User Interface in Xerox's PARC lab in Palo Alto, and realized in an instant it represented the future of computing. He tells other hardware and software stories, but seems more interested in the process of running a company in which diamonds in the rough can polish each other by constant friction. He discusses his management theories, which made him arguably the best chief executive of his time, and remembers his first visit, as a 12-year-old nerd, to Hewlett-Packard. "It was the only company I'd ever seen," he tells Cringely. "I thought it was great how they had free coffee and doughnuts."

Steve Jobs has held a special fascination for me since I bought one of the first Macs. And you? It's likely you already know if you want to see this documentary, which isn't really a film; it's raw material for a film, in the form of Jobs speaking in close-up. It's a tribute to the singular popularity of Steve Jobs that he's probably the only talking head people would pay to watch for more than an hour.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Reverse Trip: Charting the History of Bong Joon-Ho's "Snowpiercer"

A look at the cinematic and political history that resulted in Bong Joon-Ho's "Snowpiercer."

Video games can never be art

Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to ...

James Garner: 1928-2014

An obituary for the legendary James Garner, who has passed away at the age of 86.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus