This is NOT your typical review…
Director Andrew Bujalski practices shooting a black-and-white camera under the pretense of a fake documentary about an early 1980s computer tournament. However, he thinks Computer Chess is some sort of artsy-fartsy experimental film. I hate being experimented on.
Even while my insomnia lost its battle, I can still gather reasons for finding Computer Chess odious. It’s narrative-free. There’s a general direction going from the beginning of the computer chess tournament to the end. However, Computer Chess goes for a fly-on-the-wall feel while the fly loves mucking around in sticky paper and also has a clipped wing. If the director wanted to capture the tedium of dullards congregating with their peers, he has succeeded.
A portion of the dialogue goes on and on about the potential of computers. Enough, already! I already sacrifice my eyesight staring at a glowing rectangle several hours a day. The image gallery on the Computer Chess Facebook page is better than the movie.
I couldn’t get excited for Computer Chess even when the movie cheats by briefly going color. Chess annoyingly shifts between boring and weird. Boring and weird. Borrrrrrring and weeeeeeeeeeeeird. What’s the deal with the name “Papageorge,” anyway? In the end, did a message about enjoying life with others emerge from the fogs of whatever-the-crap-that-was? Oy.
I survived Computer Chess, and I want to hug my chess smartphone apps. Bujalski’s gambit just muddles my appreciation for chess and niche fandoms.