Computer-Chess
Andrew Bujalski’s mostly successful faux documentary spotlights an assembly of awkward boffins duking it out with their unfeasably large computers in the early 80s. It makes some wonderful observations about nerd culture, accentuated by a lovingly rendered 1.33:1 retro aesthetic, but the occasional daliances with surrealism jar rather frustratingly with the otherwise slavishly realistic tone of the piece. There’s also a number of brilliantly awkward performances, including an appearance by Wiley Wiggins (probably best known as the lead in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, but now a Fantastic Fest regular, as head of the Fantastic Arcade gaming sideline). Not perfect, but its achievements far outweigh its occasional missteps.

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