Steve Jobs ripped Microsoft a new one back in 1995, when former Apple employee Robert Cringely interviewed his old boss for a PBS special. Fewer than 10 minutes of that crucial videotaped conversation made it into Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires, but the rest — believed to be lost in shipping — is now heading for movie theaters Nov. 16 and 17.
Billed as Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, the 70-minute feature repurposes a copy of the full interview, which Triumph of the Nerds director Paul Sen discovered in his London garage last month when he went searching for the tape after Jobs’ death.
“The tape is PAL-VHS, dubbed on professional equipment from a D1 master, but VHS is still VHS, which is to say crappy,” Cringely said on his blog in a post about the discovery. “Yet video technology has come a long way since 1995, so we’ve been throwing resolution-enhancement voodoo at that tape.”
lt’s a remarkable rediscovery, even though the quality of the source material, which gathered dust for more than a decade, leaves a little to be desired. The content of the decade-old interview offers a candid look at the tech world’s most successful leader, as caught between Jobs’ stints at Apple. In the clip above, an excerpt from the original PBS broadcast, Jobs describes the Eureka moment when he saw his first graphical user interface during a visit to Xerox PARC.
There are many such moments in the newly restored interview, in which Jobs “sorely criticized Microsoft for making bad products,” according to a Landmark Theatres press release.
“[This is] essentially an unedited interview — definitely not the sort of thing you’d normally see on TV,” Cringely said. “It’s me coaxing Steve into a great performance.”
Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, unrated and running 70 minutes, will play the two-night run at Landmark Theatres in 17 cities including Palo Alto, Calif.