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Monday, November 7, 2011

Landmark Midtown finds 'Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview'

Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs continues to cast a huge shadow over American culture, even since his death on Oct. 5. Walter Isaacson published a biography titled Steve Jobs; Slate.com's review has the headline "Jobs the Jerk." Now Truly Indie, John Gau Productions, FurnaceTV and NerdTV present the documentary Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview at select cities, including Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, on Nov. 16 and 17.

This unique in-theatre presentation came about from recent contact between Robert Cringely, technology writer and expert, and Mark Cuban, co-owner of Landmark Theatres and its parent Wagner/Cuban Companies. Cringely had the compelling content, and Cuban the means to present it. It is being rushed into theatres to allow audiences to witness a key moment with one of the most important figures of our time.

In 1995 Robert Cringely made Triumph of the Nerds, an epic PBS miniseries about the founding of the personal computer industry that has been seen in more than 60 countries. A highlight of the show was Cringely’s interview with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in which he sorely criticized Microsoft for making bad products. That candid, controversial, and funny interview with an old associate (Cringely had worked for Jobs at one time) was by far the best TV interview Jobs ever gave. Yet less than 10 minutes were used in the series and the other 59 minutes were lost forever when the master tapes disappeared in shipping.

An unedited copy of the entire Jobs interview was discovered recently in London. Restored and improved, yet completely original and unedited, Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview will be playing select screenings at Landmark Theaters in 19 cities beginning November 16.

The documentary offers a consolation for people who can't go to New York to see The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, the monologue by Mike Daisey, extended at The Public Theater at least through Dec. 4. (I'm dying — dying! — to see it.) The monologue encompasses the rise of Jobs' career, Daisey's background as a longtime Apple user and the grim conditions at the vast Chinese sweatshops that make Apple products. Here's a clip of Daisey talking about the Jobs before the announcement of his death:

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