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Film at UICA shows Steve Jobs at his most charismatic

Displaying a beautifully candid look at a man far ahead of his time, “Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview” gives any audience a much needed insight into one of the great minds of this generation.
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Quote from Steve Jobs

"Of all the inventions of humans, the computer is going to rank near if not at the top as history unfolds and we look back."

Steve Jobs during the interview

Steve Jobs during the interview /Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Filmed in 1995 for a television series called “Triumph of the Nerds,” the film “Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview” is exactly what it sounds like: an interview that got lost. The original television series didn’t feature much of the interview, and it was considered lost until a VHS copy resurfaced in the series director’s garage.

In 1995, Steve Jobs was no longer with Apple. He had been fired in 1985 by then-CEO John Skulley, who ironically had been hired by Jobs in the first place.  

Cinematically, the film isn’t much. Almost the entire film consists of one static shot of Steve Jobs talking, with only a few brief cuts away for interviewer Robert X Cringely to contextualize the interview to the present-day audience. Interview might not be the right word, since Cringely only appears once throughout the whole film and Jobs often answers his questions with a five minute response.

Jobs was a man who had no formal training on running a business, yet he amazingly started one of the fastest growing companies in the world in Apple Computers. “It’s not rocket science,” he said during the interview. One captivating aspect of this film was the way in which Jobs talked about computers. It quickly became clear that he was passionate about computer technology and truly loved what he did.

In the interview, Jobs went on to describe how he developed landmarks like the computer mouse and graphical user interface. He also said that everyone should be required to learn a computer language because it “teaches you how to think.” Jobs is advocating a liberal arts education for all people. He explains that as humans, we should learn how to think the right way before embarking on any important task in life.

Jobs also talked about the importance of content over process. He discredited companies like Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft for putting process and marketing over content. This is why, according to Jobs, they sold massively inferior products. Jobs explains himself well and his personality makes his viewpoint very influential.

After explaining his first encounter with a desktop computer as a teenager, he described how he and Apple co-creator Steve Wozniak prank called the Pope with a device they created that could mimic the  AT&T phone computers of the time.

“He [Steve Wozniak] pretended to be Henry Kissinger. We had the number for the Vatican…and they started waking people up in the hierarchy, and they actually sent someone to wake up the Pope when finally we just burst out laughing and they realized we weren’t Henry Kissinger. Yeah and so we never got to talk to the Pope, but it was very funny,” Jobs said.

Where the film itself isn’t visually entertaining or innovative, Steve Jobs is. This interview shows him at his most fascinating and energetic, which is easily enough to keep an audience interested. Showing a beautifully candid look at a man far ahead of his time, “Steve Jobs: The Lost interview” gives any audience a much needed insight into one of the greatest minds of this generation.

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