Computer Chess (image 1)

An endearingly nutty, proudly analog tribute to the ultra-nerdy innovators of yesteryear.

Justin Chang, Variety

Screened as part of NZIFF 2013

Computer Chess 2013

Directed by Andrew Bujalski

This wry 2013 mockumentary about an early computer vs computer chess tournament looks and talks like an authentic 80s relic. “An endearingly nutty, proudly analog tribute to the ultra-nerdy innovators of yesteryear.” — Variety

USA In English
92 minutes B&W / HDCAM

Director, Screenplay, Editor

Producers

Houston King
,
Alex Lipschultz

Photography

Matthias Grunsky

Production designer

Michael Bricker

Costume designer

Colin Wilkes

With

Patrick Riester (Peter Bishton)
,
Wiley Wiggins (Martin Beuscher)
,
Myles Paige (Michael Papageorge)
,
Robin Schwartz (Shelly Flintic)
,
Gerald Peary (Pat Henderson)
,
Gordon Kindlmann (Tom Schoesser)

Festivals

Sundance, Berlin, San Francisco 2013

“Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha) makes his first period picture, kinda, with this stubbornly, gloriously retro saga set at an early-1980s computer-chess tournament (with a few ventures into the freaky couples-therapy seminar being held at the same hotel). The technology is dated, both on and off-screen, as hulking machines with names like ‘Tsar 3.0’ and ‘Logic Fortress’ battle for nerdly supremacy as a cameraman, wielding the vintage cameras that were actually used to film the feature, observes. Tiny dramas highlighting the deeply human elements lurking amid all that computer code emerge along the way. Though the Poindexters (and the grainy cinematography) are authentically old-school, the humor is wry and awkwardly dry – very 21st century.” — Cheryl Eddy, San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Rather brilliantly conceived… this is about as perfect a rendering of the era as you could ask for… the acting is uniformly superb.” — Andrew Pulver, The Guardian