Computer Chess

Director: Andrew Bujalski
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 1.5

Programmers from all over the United States convene at a conference to test out their computer chess software - elsewhere in the hotel where this is taking place, there's a group therapy conference going on, cats running amok and swingers trying to convince one kid from CalTech to have a three-some (which, naturally, does not compute with him). Visually unique - Bujalski and cinematographer Matthias Grunsky utilize archaic Sony vacuum tube cameras to record the proceedings - though I never got the impression this was anything more than a quirky experiment with more of Bujalski's 'characters' having as much difficulty speaking as the Natives in Herzog's Fitzcarraldo did dragging a boat over a mountain. I don't particularly find awkward people inherently amusing nor do I think it has enough to say about artificial intelligence and human beings to allow for deep analysis: if there are compelling philosophical arguments to be had about the development of technology, they're permanently lodged in the minds of these gifted wallflowers.