House Logo
Explore categories +

Computer Chess (#110 of 6)

Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2013

Comments Comments (...)

Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2013
Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2013

From Budd Wilkins’s introduction to Slant Magazine’s Top 25 Films of 2013: “Reports of cinema’s demise, as it turns out, have been greatly exaggerated. Granted, celluloid is about as dead as the dodo, and delivery systems are in flux (pretty soon, audiences will be as likely to catch the latest Hollywood tent pole streaming on their wristwatches as in a multiplex), but the century-old urge to dream another life within the four edges of a frame, to transmute image and sound into something more potent than either alone, remained refreshingly untrammeled. Given the precarious position of the medium, beholden to the ever-shifting tectonics of finance, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many films took the constituent building blocks of their own construction as their theme.” Click here to read the feature and see if your favorite films of the year made our list. And see below for a list of the films that just missed making it onto our list, followed by our contributors’ individual ballots. Happy reading.

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

Comments Comments (...)

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.