Steve Jobs says he's more a hippie than a nerd. He hires computer programmers who, in another life, would make excellent poets, musicians, even zoologists.
"The spark of that was that there was something beyond what you see everyday. There's something beyond a job, a career, a car...That same spirit can be put into products," he says in Steve Jobs: the Lost Interview.
The movie, with a limited theatrical run, plays at the Esquire Theater at 7:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. tonight, and tomorrow at 7:15 p.m.
Filmed in 1995 a year before he returned to Apple (he was forced out in 1985), he's biting, effervescent, visionary and brutally honest. He speaks with percussive hand gestures punctuating his sentences like a conductor; is quietly humorous when talking about how well Hewlett-Packard treated its employees by wheeling out a cart of coffee and donuts at 10 a.m. everyday and commenting "they didn't know about cholesterol back then"; and arrogant, saying things like Steve Wozniak was the first person he'd met who knew more about electronics than Jobs and that the problem with Microsoft was that it has no taste. Even back then, Jobs was harping on about how the Internet was going to revolutionize commerce and communication.
Called The Lost Interview, the film is a piece of performance art for diehard Apple fans or haters. It's an hour and ten minutes of Jobs sitting in a chair and talking, with the occasional explanation cut in. Jobs is compelling but the interview capitalizes on Jobs's death and the best-selling biography about him rather than bringing new information or insight.
"In business, a lot of it is folklore," Jobs says in the film. And the interview cements the folklore around Jobs.
Jobs is temperamental and harsh (On John Sculley, former Apple CEO: "Not competing visions, because John didn't have a vision for the company."). But he's also brilliant; a dreamer who earnestly spews out maxims like "everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think." The interview either proves that the mystique around Jobs is real, or that he's an incredible actor.