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Mars (#110 of 6)

15 Famous Mars Movies

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15 Famous Mars Movies
15 Famous Mars Movies

Editor’s Note: This entry was originally published on March 9, 2012.

In one of two blockbuster adaptations to showcase his shining star this year (the other being the inexplicable feature-length translation of a little game called Battleship), Taylor Kitsch leads the weekend as the title character in John Carter, leaping miles in a single bound and surely climbing the box-office charts too. John Carter’s action, of course, unfolds on Mars, Earth’s ever-cinematic neighbor. What other films have seen their heroes roam the red landscape or tussle with its residents? From buddy comedies to creature features to—wait for it—holiday fare, turns out there are quite a few.
 

SXSW 2013: Computer Chess, Swim Little Fish Swim, & Loves Her Gun

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SXSW 2013: <em>Computer Chess</em>, <em>Swim Little Fish Swim</em>, & <em>Loves Her Gun</em>
SXSW 2013: <em>Computer Chess</em>, <em>Swim Little Fish Swim</em>, & <em>Loves Her Gun</em>

The fuzzy, shades-of-gray black and white of the decades-old Sony video camera that director Andrew Bujalski used to shoot Computer Chess is a worm tunnel through the space-time continuum, shooting us straight to the late ’70s or early ’80s. We arrive at a computer chess tournament to which teams of artificial-intelligence programmers from places like MIT and Stanford have lugged bulky CPUs and monitors. It’s an annual milestone in the race to develop a computer that can beat a human chess master. It’s also, as one of the spectators puts it, the beginning of “the end of the world”—and the dawn of the one we inhabit now, in which we take it for granted that computers can do a whole lot of things better than we can.