‘Computer Chess’: Review

Computer Chess

I guess it’s all to Computer Chess’s credit that going into the film I was pretty sure that it was a documentary. I thought it was a pretty cool concept, a documentary on the transition in competitive chess where a computer could beat a human, and the ramifications it would deliver in the community. Well, as I found out quite quickly, the grainy footage and old school video wasn’t just stock footage, but a modern-day fictional recreation of the same such events, but under the guise that it was all pre-meditated. I can’t recall a film going this in-depth in telling a “period” by so expertly aping the 70s through not only clothing and settings, but through through camera filming and filters, along with the amateur acting that made it seem even more real.

The film is incessantly weird in its telling of these off-beat people whose lives revolve around chess and every random detail that effects it, being magnified to a thousandth degree. I really had to catch myself multiple times that this was in fact a fiction film, and this was all acting rather than a documentary which it looked so incredibly like. I found it funny, not really in a “telling jokes” kind of way, but more in its concept and exploration of these characters and exploring their traits and way of life. Thus I could see it hard to get into, or “understand” for some people, but I think it’s a lot simpler and level-headed than its concept might seem.



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