masters of cinema
Computer Chess

Computer Chess

Andrew Bujalski ,

Film Summary






Aspect Ratio:



Black & White




English SDH



The fourth feature film from the brilliant and maverick American filmmaker Andrew Bujalski, whose previous works include Funny Ha Ha (the early ’00s film that arguably kicked off the micro-budget movement of American independent cinema), Mutual Appreciation (an acclaimed comic portrait of love and longing in the Brooklyn indie music scene), and Beeswax (which among its principals starred Alex Karpovsky, the filmmaker and actor who has gone on to renown for his own comic features and his role in Lena Dunham’s Girls).A boldly intelligent ensemble comedy with a feel and atmosphere that surpass easy comparison, Computer Chess takes place in the early-1980s over the course of a weekend conference where a group of obsessive software programmers have convened to pit their latest refinements in machine-chess and the still-developing field of artificial intelligence (AI) against an assembly of human chess masters.

Computer Chess is a portrait not only of the crazy and surreal relationships that come to pass between the abundance of characters who participate in the weekend event (and among whose ranks include Wiley Wiggins, the revered indie-game developer and star of Richard Linklater’s classic Dazed and Confused), but of the very era of early computing itself — and of the first, rudimentary video games — and (if that weren’t enough) of the hopes and insecurities that persisted through the film’s “retro” digital age into the present-day — that semi-virtual, hyper-social, maybe-kind-of-dehumanised landscape that, let’s face it, is our very own era. If that still weren’t enough: it’s also one of the wittiest, most shift-and-cringe-in-your-seat, and entirely LOL-hilarious movies of recent times.With its radical retro video aesthetic and wry rumination on digitality and where-we-are-today, Computer Chess is a far-reaching and ambitious benchmark for the modern American cinema.

The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess in its UK home-viewing debut.

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Computer Chess Dual Format


3 Discs

  • Blu-ray and DVD presentations of the film from the digital master
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Two feature-length audio commentaries: one by Deep Blue programmer Murray Campbell; the other by an enthusiastic stoner
  • Three exclusive video conversations with Andrew Bujalski, Wiley Wiggins, and producer Alex Lipschultz
  • Promotional archive featuring; Kickstarter funding video; Sundance promo; Bujalski’s LFF introduction; narrated animations of eight historic computer chess games, Hot Old Personal Computer Internet spots, and a video guide to the camera used in the film
  • Three trailers for the film
  • Andrew Bujalski’s short 2013 film Analog Goose
  • 32-PAGE FULL-COLOUR BOOKLET featuring an essay about the film by Craig Keller; a note on the cover artist, Cliff Spohn; and an array of stills taken behind the scenes during the production of the film.