Computer Chess - Enzian Theater

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Science on Screen®/Meet the Filmmaker

Computer Chess

10th Anniversary – Live Zoom Q&A with Director Andrew Bujalski!  

Set in the 1980s at the start of the tech revolution, over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers, COMPUTER CHESS transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs.

We get to know the eccentric geniuses possessed of 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.

Science fiction in reverse, COMPUTER CHESS anticipated our present artificial intelligence debate 10 years ago and is set 30 years before that. Revisit this beloved indie classic that will spark lively conversation and debate amongst theatrical audiences, while offering a slice of analog nostalgia.

Winner of the Alfred Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, COMPUTER CHESS is the only feature film shot almost exclusively with original Sony 1968 AVC-3260 B&W video cameras.

2013, 92 MIN, USA, Not Rated, Directed by Andrew Bujakski


About the Filmmaker

Andrew Bujalski was born in Boston in 1977 and studied film at Harvard’s Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. Called “The Godfather of Mumblecore”, Bujalski wrote and directed the films FUNNY HA HA (2002), MUTUAL APPRECIATION (2005). His first films all appeared on the New York Times’s “Best of the Year” lists.  BEESWAX (2009) and COMPUTER CHESS (2013), Bujalski’s third and fourth independent films, were filmed in Austin, Texas, where the director lives. His latest projects; SUPPORT THE GIRLS (SXSW, 2018) and THERE THERE (Tribeca Film Festival, 2022) have been released by Magnolia Pictures.

2013, 92 MIN, USA, Not Rated, Directed by Andrew Bujakski

  • In partnership with Science on Screen®: an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION
  • SOS
  • "A rather brilliantly conceived study. About as perfect a rendering of the era as you could ask for...the acting is uniformly superb: every twitch, every stumble, every stutter is deployed with absolutely plausibility. Bujalski really has pulled off something extraordinary here... As an act of cultural archeology I can think of few better."

    - Andrew Pulver, THE GUARDIAN
  • "Funny and poignant, it's also a witty satire on technology and how today's cutting-edge will be tomorrow's quaint kitsch."

    - Mark Olsen, LOS ANGELES TIMES
  • "A deeply strange, deeply funny comedy about analog techies in the mid-1980s that detours into hard science fiction, surrealism, and middle-aged hippie-cult sensualists."

    - Scott Tobias, THE DISSOLVE
  • "An endearingly nutty, proudly analog tribute to the ultra-nerdy innovators of yesteryear."

    - Justin Chang, VARIETY
  • "Computer Chess could be a new Doctor Strangelove. Hilarious and brilliant."

    - Nathan Renaud, ACCRÉDS
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