|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 95 min.|
|FSK:||From 0 years|
Since there have been computers, there are also people who program them so that you can play chess against them. Already in the early 1980s ambitious programmers met regularly at congresses to compete against professional players with their chess programs. The film "Computer Chess" documents what happens when such nerds meet a group of esoteric self-realizers, when the computers don't want to like their programmers, or when a woman suddenly appears in the middle of the group of mainly male computer specialists.
Played like a documentary, the film shot in black and white on video quickly reveals its staged character. For example, the film team can be seen at work and there are numerous too perfect cuts between two talking people, which would simply not be possible with a real documentary. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the movie, the viewer forgets again and again that it's not a real time document from the 80s. The equipment, hairstyles, clothes, all that the makers have brought to the point with absolute ingenuity.
If the participants of the congress sniff at each other at the beginning, their gigantic plants develop, only in order to give themselves then small programming errors beaten, then straight by the consistent Retro Look has a very high maintenance potential. However, the movie soon reveals that it also has another, very bizarre side to it, which gains the upper hand more and more as the movie progresses. It all begins with the fact that without any further explanation it is shown that the congress hotel is home to an amazingly high number of abandoned cats - a fact which is accepted by the guests without much surprise as seemingly completely normal. But something else is normal.
The esoteric group that tries to revive itself here, a married couple that invites a virgin programmer to a threesome, or the congress participant desperately looking for a place to sleep, makes "Computer Chess" seem less and less like a documentary and more and more like a very strange trip. And at the latest after the finale, which David Lynch will surely enjoy, the last viewer will wonder what the filmmakers smoked to come up with such an idea.
Thereby the film deserves the title of being something especially far away from the mainstream. At the same time, the independent work also becomes extremely bulky and exhausting for many viewers, which of course also loses the initial entertainment value. Therefore there should not only be a weakness for retro-look and chess computers, but also a preference for film material of the particularly weird kind in order to enjoy "Computer Chess" to the full. Because only then applies to this very unusual work: definitely worth seeing!
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