Computer Chess
AMC Kabuki CinemasThu, May 2, 2013 9:00 PM Not Available
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Premiere Status:USA
Year of Prod:2013
Running Time:91
Original Language:English
dir:Andrew Bujalski
prod:Houston King
Alex Lipschultz
scr:Andrew Bujalski
cam:Matthias Grunsky
editor:Andrew Bujalski
cast:Patrick Riester
Myles Paige
Gerald Peary
Wiley Wiggins
source:Kino Lorber Inc.
333 W 39th St
Ste 503
New York
NY 10018
FAX: 212-714-0871
From universities and labs across the country, a group of awkward, brainy programmers convene at a cheap hotel in 1980 for an annual computer chess tournament. Over a long weekend, the young men (along with the competition’s first woman, received with general amazement) nervously watch how their creations measure up while engaging in nerdy one-upmanship and wild-eyed speculation over how this dawn of the digital age will play out. Sharing the hotel with them is a guru and his New Age followers pursuing their own sort of mental breakthrough, a group of stray cats and one particularly sad-looking prostitute. Though the convergence of this motley assortment of characters results in a deeply eccentric comedy of human foibles, it is also a thoughtful consideration of technology and the implications of its growing importance, all within the framework of a highly idiosyncratic, even experimental, film. Director Andrew Bujalski, whose first three films were shot on 16mm, embraces video for the first time, albeit in a similarly anachronistic fashion: with a camera made in the 1960s. The inherent defects of vintage analog video lend the film a nostalgic look that compliments the technological challenges of a pre-Internet age when portable computers required more than one person to move. The dreams and fears of these computer pioneers seem so simple and naïve as to be quaint, but their larger questions about what separates humans from machines and whether that boundary can be crossed are unresolved matters whose importance seem greater than ever.
-Jesse Dubus
Additional Information

Andrew Bujalski

Boston-native Andrew Bujalski studied film at Harvard before directing his first film, Funny Ha Ha (2002), which was cited by New York Times film critic A. O. Scott as “One of the Ten Most Influential Films of the ‘00s.” His follow-up films, Mutual Appreciation (2005) and Beeswax (2009), both joined his debut in being included in the New York Times critics’ “Top Ten of the Year” lists, among many others.