Previously at the ICA - Films

Andrew Bujalski, Computer Chess, 2013

Computer Chess

22 Nov 201328 Nov 2013

★★★★ 'about as perfect a rendering of the era as you could ask for' Guardian
★★★★ 'a supremely intelligent, beautifully constructed film' Time Out
★★★★ 'a wondrously strange story of Eighties computer nerds' The Telegraph 

Maverick mumblecore writer-director and festival favourite Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation) turns his wicked eye back to the early 1980s, when desktop computers the size of fridges were pitted against chess players who thought they could outwit them – and often did.

During a long weekend at a nondescript hotel, various geeks use their home-written software to try to beat a human grandmaster (played by film critic Gerald Peary). Using ancient mono video cameras, cringingly authentic fashions and appropriately tacky furnishings, Bujalski’s knowing comedy has an irresistible retro look, matched by its pitch-perfect dialogue. A retinue of socially challenged stereotypes from the early computer era admirably support the narrative, including an experimental psychologist (Wiley Wiggins, who actually designs computer games), an over-intense young code writer (Patrick Riester), and Robin Schwartz as the appallingly patronised token female. 

Computer Chess, dir Andrew Bujalski, USA 2013

All films are 18+ unless otherwise stated. Please note that £3 Tuesday cinema tickets are limited to one per ICA Member.

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