DVD Release: Computer Chess

DVD Release Date: Nov. 5, 2013
Price: DVD $29.95
Studio: Kino Lorber

Computer Chess movie scene

It's man vs. machine in Computer Chess.

Set during a weekend-long computer chess tournament circa 1980, auteur Andrew Bujalski’s (Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation, Beeswax) 2013 comedy Computer Chess depicts a group of programmers engaged in a game of man vs. machine, and their chance collision with another subculture of aging New Agers in a touchy-feely encounter therapy workshop being held in the same hotel.

The movie, which is shot in Eighties video-styled black-and-white, 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.

The winner of the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award at the Sundance Film Festival, honoring a film whose theme is science or technology, Computer Chess was also previously awarded a Tribeca Film Institute Sloan grant in 2012. The film had its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and was presented at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas before its critically acclaimed national release to theaters in the summer of 2013.

The DVD contains the following bonus features:

-Commentary by Deep Blue programmer Murray Campbell
-Bonus commentary by an enthusiastic stoner
-Crowdfunding plea video
-Sundance Film Festival promo
-4 Computer Chess reference games
-1969 Sony AVC-3260 video camera tutorial

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.