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1,024 Ratings

Computer Chess

Directed by Andrew Bujalski
United States, 2013
  • English
  • English, German


Set over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers thirty-some years ago, Computer Chess transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs.

Our take

Blazing out of Sundance and proceeding directly to the cult canon, Computer Chess is one of our favorite indies of the decade: a hilarious, weird, endlessly inventive shaggy dog comedy about the birth of our new era from “mumblecore” headmaster Andrew Bujalski. Long live A.I.!

Computer Chess Directed by Andrew Bujalski

Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival

2013 | Winner: Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize

Independent Spirit Awards

2014 | 2 nominations including: Best Cinematography

Computer Chess is something very different [for Bujalski], a change of style, theme and mood, and it shows him to be in masterful command of all aspects of cinema, because Computer Chess is above all a stylistic tour-de-force. But the social awkwardness that is at the heart of his mumblecore films is still present in Computer Chess. That too is one of its (many) strengths.
March 30, 2014
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In evoking the ambition and anxiety around artificial intelligence—even in such a convoluted manifestation as computer chess—Bujalski, in a glorious act of association, collapses AI, the mind/body split, and the ghosting effect of black-and-white video.
March 05, 2014
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[Don DeLillo’s] work and Computer Chess share not just a suffusion of concern for those particularly American traits of paranoia and power fantasies, but also a certain oracular ambience that makes particular history (large and small) as it plays out seem as though it carried the force of inevitability.
January 01, 2014
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