Music Box Theatre welcomes the filmmakers and local stars of the new ’80s-set comedy Computer Chess for the film’s opening weekend in Chicago. Writer-director Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha), local stars Gordon Kindlmann and Anne Dodge, Chicago-born producer Alex Lipschultz and special guests will introduce and conduct post-show discussions on Friday and Saturday. Ray Pride, film editor of Newcity, facilitates post-screening Q&As Friday and Saturday, Sept 27 and 28, 7:15 p.m. at Music Box Theatre.
Computer Chess – an official selection of the 2013 South By Southwest and Sundance film festivals – is “an artificially intelligent comedy” about computer chess programmers set in an Austin hotel over one weekend in the ’80s during a tournament for chess software programmers. The film transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs.
Gordon Kindlmann, who makes his acting debut as Professor Tom Schoesser in Computer Chess, is a real-life assistant professor in the Computation Institute and the Computer Science Department at the University of Chicago. He lives not far from the Music Box with his wife Anne Dodge, a documentarian (66 Motels) and urban planner, who also plays his wife in the movie.
Chicago-born producer Alex Lipschultz, currently executive producer of Richard Linklater’s Hulu series “Up to Speed,” will also join the conversation.
Bujalski also wrote and directed the films Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation and Beeswax, which all appeared on New York Times critics’ “Top Ten of the Year” lists. Funny Ha Ha was also identified by A.O. Scott as one of the Ten Most Influential Films of the ’00s. The Boston Globe describes him as “unerringly polite and somewhat disheveled.”
Set over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers thirty-some years ago, Computer Chess 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 and will come to know it in the future.