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Rediscovered footage brings 'controversial' Steve Jobs interview to iTunes

No fewer than three films about Apple co-creator Steve Jobs have come to fruition since he died in October, the first of which is now available to the masses. And no, it doesn't feature Ashton Kutcher.

Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, an hour-long-interview-cum-feature-film from 1995, is now in the iTunes store. It is also available on the official Magnolia Pictures YouTube site.

The interview was conducted by former Apple employee and tech journalist Robert Cringley for the PBS documentary Triumph of the Nerds, and features a young, unedited Jobs, in his signature round glasses and black turtleneck. At the time, Jobs was still CEO of NeXT Computer and Pixar.

Cringley planned a followup with additional footage, but the tapes were somehow lost while being shipped from London to Portland, Oregon. They were recovered, on VHS, last year, prompting a limited theatre release.

Despite the Apple visionary's famously camera-shy demeanor, it is clear from the film's trailer alone that the feature brings out Jobs's cheekiness, as well as his excitement about building a lasting enterprise.

"I don't really care about being right," he said during the interview. "I just care about success."

Six Rotten Tomatoes reviews and 11 iTunes customer ratings have so far earned five stars for the unrated documentary, which is described on the site as "candid, controversial and funny."

A little too controversial, it seems, according to Cringely's blog, where he wrote that Apple deemed the film too contentious, therefore refusing to promote it, though agreeing to post the movie for rental.

"The topic is 'too sensitive' you see," Cringely wrote. "It isn't even listed in the iTunes new releases. You have to search for it. But it's there. Maybe I'm not even supposed to tell you."

He defended the film, saying there is nothing controversial or insensitive about it, adding that even critics are giving it high marks.

"It's a different look at an interesting guy and some people seem to take away a lot from it," Cringely said. "You be the judge."