Computer Chess

Computer Chess

Andrew Bujalski (2013)

91min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
In this experimental exercise in analogue nostalgia, writer/director Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha) affectionately spoofs the cerebral, spiritual and sexual aspects of early 1980s life, while also exploring the dangers of becoming over-reliant on rapidly obsolescent technology. The film is presented in black and white and a square 4:3 aspect ratio that resembles both a computer monitor and a chessboard, while Bujalski also pokes fun at the fridge-sized machines being used by programmers at a computer chess tournament. But, while the gadgetry jokes are amusing and the discussion of artificial intelligence is intriguing, the human elements are only fitfully engaging. Faced with rebellious software, a scheming boss, and a crush on the only woman in the competition (Robin Schwartz), Patrick Riester makes an appealing antihero. But Myles Paige proves a crashing bore as the belligerent maverick whose hotel booking error means he is forced to sleep on floors and stairwells, when not falling foul of his rivals, some stray cats and a pair of drug dealers. So, while this is visually and thematically fascinating, the storyline is too slender and scattershot.

Cast & Crew

Martin Beuscher Wiley Wiggins
Peter Bishton Patrick Riester
Michael Papageorge Myles Paige
Shelly Flintic Robin Schwartz
Schoesser Gordon Kindlmann
Pat Henderson Gerald Peary
John Jim Lewis
Freddy Freddy Martinez
Carbray James Curry
McVey Bob Sabiston
Cameraman Kevin Bewersdorf
Director Andrew Bujalski
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Eureka EntertainmentAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 22 Nov 2013