With the constant hardware updates and new releases, it sometimes seems like a month goes by without a new Apple product being announced. These launches are met with waves of media interest followed intently by the press and public. This enthusiasm was undoubtedly fuelled by the cult of Steve Jobs, an almost mythical figure of Silicon Valley who was the founder and figurehead of the revolutionary company until his death last year.
However, things were not always rosy. STEVE JOBS: THE LOST INTERVIEW was shot in 1995 when Bob Cringely was creating his documentary TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS. It sees Jobs exiled from the company he created and running the small hardware company Next. Apple was in free fall and it wouldn’t be until the next year, when Jobs was reinstated, that the company started to grow into the giant that it is today. The interview footage was thought lost, but was recently resurrected from a storage vault.
Listening to one person speak solidly from one camera angle for a solid 70 minutes can get tedious…
The entire film is shot from one camera and the footage and sound quality are poor. It was shot on VHS, which has deteriorated badly. It is strange that in this world of digital restoration nothing was done to beautify the image. It is also frustrating that the film is not accompanied by standard documentary techniques such as additional archive footage, background narration or other interviewees. Listening to one person speak solidly from one camera angle for a solid 70 minutes can get tedious, even if that person is as interesting as Jobs.
The film is also very tech-heavy in content and not for the casual film fan. The details of the development of the Apple Macintosh may whet the appetite for technology nerds but it will struggle to engage a casual viewer. However, Jobs is a fascinating subject and his anecdotes are interesting for those interested. He also proves to be a bit of a fortune teller, predicting how the web would have revolutionised commerce, banking, shopping and our social lives within the next ten years.