Film: Welcome to Macintosh (2008)

February 4, 2014 | By

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Film: Good/ DVD Transfer: Very Good/ DVD Extras: n/a

Label: Baca Productions / Region: 0 (NTSC) / Released: July 14, 2009

Genre: Documentary / Computer Science

Synopsis: Candid and frank chronicle of Apple’s rise from garage enterprise to the world’s most influential computer company and most valuable brand.

Special Features:  n/a




Originally produced roughly a year after Apple’s iPhone debuted, much has happened with Apple Inc., with new products and the passing of its visionary founder Steve Jobs, making Robert Baca and Josh Rizzo’s directorial debut an interesting time capsule, if not an amusing foray into Apple’s corporate history.

Co-founders Jobs and Steve Wozniak don’t appear in the doc, but the subject roster is filled with former and current employees (Mac co-creator Andy Herzfeld, co-founder Ron Wayne), wry comments, and heaps of praise for a company whose products made significant impacts on the way we interact with computers, listen to music, and regard sublime industrial design.

Welcome to Macintosh is a love-in for Mac users – there are few criticisms of the company – which makes the doc a kind of positive reinforcement for the converted, the devoted, and the cult of Apple which is truly unique among any product users. (There’s never been a celebration of things Windows or PC, and frankly never will be, as long as Apple continues to pool resources and attitude into products which shake up consumers and are marvels in industrial design.)

Simplicity was key to Jobs and Wozniak, and Apple’s most successful products reflect that goal, from the first Mac computer which debuted January 24, 1984. Small, futuristic in its one-piece design, and easy to use, the Mac and its progeny make up the doc’s last two-thirds, in addition to some diversions towards Mac gossip site founder John Moltz (, film editor Richard Halsey (Rocky, Edward Scissorhands) on the shift from film to non-linear editing using Final Cut Pro, and Apple collector extreme Wayne Bibbens, whose archive of products could probably outfit an entire government department (or maybe three).

The subtextual stream of ‘PCs suck’ is present – it manifests in less crude terms, but is certainly voiced by several subjects, such as former Apple employee Guy Kawasaki – but the filmmakers don’t really focus on the pros & cons of rivals Apple and Microsoft; this is essentially a chronicle of a company and its effects on an industry and pop culture. The love for the Mac may be a little thick, but Baca and Rizzo have packed a fair chunk of information in their film, and tried to offer some balance by letting their subjects cut loose, be a little profane, and make wry dismissals (as is the case with musician / Mac sound creator Jim Reekes).

Some interviews may run too long (Kawasaki’s meanders), a few visual framing devices are awkward (the Quicktime, low-res window for Moltz’ interview looks ghostly, and cutaways to side angle B&W footage during an interview is dated), and the score cues sometimes loop and repeat with barely any instrumental changes, but it’s the information that’s the main draw, and a chance to see aspects of vintage products which for the most part were replaced with prettier newer ones.

The DVD reportedly contains up to 3 hours of extended interviews.



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan


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