At first glance, Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess looks like a documentary filmed in the early ’80s. Then, you realize… This could be this year’s best new film.
See chess software programmers spend several days in a crappy hotel. There’s a Swiss-style chess tournament: “We get to know the eccentric geniuses possessed with the vision to teach a metal box to defeat man, literally, at his own game, laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence as we know it and will come to know it in the future.” Heavy stuff! Also, awkward. Wired adds:
There are a lot of rambling philosophical conversations in hotel rooms. There’s a boring panel discussion about programming strategies. There’s some pill-popping and dope-smoking and possible LSD-dropping. There’s an attempt at a ménage à trios. There’s an encounter with a new-age couples therapy group.
A period piece! A good one, it seems. And look at this poster!