Rather than being an "accurate" depiction of computer culture decades ago, instead it uses a blend of analog visuals and a world that is slightly off to create a slightly surreal ethnography. At times I had to strain to follow the dialogue and thus characters' ideas. I know I missed the crucial sentences near the end that drew the various threads together, so I was left in the dark at the end. That's OK, though.
Inventive film in a time when inventive films have gone out of fashion. Reminded me about the comic strip Dilbert. There is something about offices/computer environments that opens up for philosophical questions. Most of my favourite films from recent years take place in the past/look back at past events: Ida, Stories We Tell, Bitter Lake, Act of Killing, No (Larrain). Are we (/am I?) too nostalgic?
I was immediately taken by the subtly comical, geeky, quirky and minimalist style. The simultaneous presence of the therapy group invites for philosphical inquiry: emotional passion vs. intellectual curiosity, but there's more to it that I cannot grasp yet. Furthermore, I wasn't particularly impressed with how Peter started losing his sanity regarding chess 'going real life'. It was a nice and authentic film though.
Exploring the awkwardness and neuroticism of a group of minds gathered together for a seemingly frivolous task, Computer Chess still manages to weave a few thoughtful critiques about the nature of society and social relationships into its meandering and directionless (mumblecore) story. Furthermore, it successfully manages to avert all the cliches a film of this subject matter could have fallen back on.
I was no less than happily surprised with this one... It's been some good minutes after I've seen it and I'm still thinking about it! It's worth mentioning that Bujalski's option for old cameras fits perfectly the constant underlying feel that the movie beams towards the viewers... I'll definitely check this out again.
Hilarious in an oddball, Coen Brothers meets the british version of the office sort of way. Shot in intentionally amateurish style, it’s not afraid to ponder the big questions and do it with such delightful comic sensibility, yet never losing its footing. Small little film that is insanely smart and knowing, and an excellently successful experiment in filmmaking.
An absurd film that is kinda fun in a nostalgic, quirky sort of way. However, the editing is so self-consciously weird as to be painful. The camera cuts at inappropriate times, audio from multiple scenes sometimes overlaps (rendering dialogue unintelligible), etc. Bujalski apparently thinks himself very clever, but this film has no substance. Or maybe I'm just not smart enough to see the point.
Ah.. Quite a good sequence of code. Soulful, dorky and mysterious while it burns a hole in my Plumbicon Tube. I'll watch the next five movies Mr. Bujalski makes in whatever format that he chooses ––Even if he chooses the CCD or CMOS capturing devices of the future... I mean now. No emoticon could ever state the satisfaction I felt while watching this movie, except for five yellow stars. Love/Life.
So, yeah mumblecore...so now the label is out of the way - this movie has a stark aesthetic, labored and troublesome pace, and muffled audio but all the more enthralling to watch. There is constant palpable weary paranoia and awkward energy that flows and ebbs through the characters, their dialogue even the AIs seem bothered. By half moves and countermoves this movie jerks along brilliantly. A must watch.
One of the most criminally under-appreciated films in recent years. Andrew Bujalski's insanely dense Computer Chess is an evocative essay on the differences between life & non-life, human & non-human, The poetry in the film lies in its intentional imperfection, This is a film that actually looks like it was filmed in the 70s with an old Sony analog video camera. The final shot send chills down my spine every time.
Feel as if I crawled directly into the director's ear. Who knew a man's cranium could look like a run-of-the-mill hotel. I hesitate to give the movie a full mark only because I thought it could have gone a little further. And there were a couple of touches that felt like overkill, especially the matter with the cats. I only say this because the movie deserves high scrutiny.