You didn’t really think Steve Jobs mania was over did you? The news that came out today from Silicon Valley may be a sign that it’s only just begun. In the wake of the computing pioneer’s death last month there’s been no shortage of material about Jobs coming forward including a high profile biography, a 60 Minutes special, and a host of online moratoriums from all over the globe. That all made sense. But a sign that posthumous fame is really working occurs when folks come out of seemingly nowhere with substandard material and are ready to make a buck.
It’s come out today that a lost Steve Jobs interview from 1995 was not only “discovered” in London recently but is now slated to show in major motion theaters across select cities in the United States. Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview is scheduled to debut in various Landmark Theater’s starting the third week of November. The footage is from an interview Jobs did with did with Robert Cringely for a public TV series called “Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires.” I’ve watched most of it throughout the day and there are some high points for sure. You can see Jobs’ more combative, cranky side come out as he talks about being fired from Apple and his rant against Microsoft. You see his human side most importantly. You see him sneeze, ask to stop and answer questions again, and you get beyond what Jobs was like while unveiling a new product and see what he’s really like reminiscing about the rise of Apple, even before Apple became the beast we know it to be today.
What’s certain is that audiences can see Jobs’ id and his ego throughout the footage and, given the hype surrounding his death, I can see why this footage is resurfacing. If the question is, however, should it be shown in major motion theaters, the answer is heck no. Despite the fact that its public television, there is an amateur side to the camerawork and interviewing that is painstaking in today’s professional world. Jobs has entertaining moments, but at other times, it’s clear why this footage was edited down to a 10 minute piece (which did air) and the rest was left in a vault. It’s fine as a documentary and educators, tech geeks, gadget hounds, and just casual Apple fans can get a lot from seeing Jobs discussing what the early days were like.