General Magic | Denver Film Society | Sarah Kerruish | Matthew Maude | USA

General Magic

Sarah Kerruish, Matthew Maude

Biographical, Historical/Period, Technology/Science

EnglishUSA201893 min


No upcoming showtimes scheduled.


From smartphones and touchscreens to e-commerce and emojis, the geniuses of General Magic invented it all. The only problem? They did it before most of us even knew what the Internet was.

In this fascinating documentary, filmmakers Sarah Kerruish and Matt Maude take you behind the scenes of the world’s most successful failed company, whose founders left Apple in 1990 with the goal of producing a handheld computer. The buildup to its release was heady, as investors threw millions of dollars at Marc Porat and his merry band of visionaries—who rewarded their support just a few years later with the very device they’d all dreamed of. If only consumers shared their dream: as it turned out, Americans who were just beginning to buy personal desktops and use e-mail en masse had no conceivable use for pocket tech. The launch tanked, and General Magic folded. But the specific magic of its ideas changed Silicon Valley forevermore.

Combining rare archival footage and contemporary interviews with the key players—most of whom have gone on to transform the industry and our lives in other ways—Kerruish and Maude offer an inspiring look at inspiration itself, in all its perspiration.

Sponsored By:

Producer: Matthew Maude, Sarah Kerruish, Mike Stern | Editor: Claire Ferguson | Cinematographer: Matthew Maude, Jay Maude | Screenwriter: Matthew Maude, Sarah Kerruish, Jonathan Key
Cast: Tony Fadell, Megan Smith, Marc Porat, Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld
Additional Countries: UK