“I’m Sorry, Dave. That’s Checkmate.”

When Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess premiered at the Oak Cliff Film Festival, Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) paired it with a lobby chess battle: a tiny war waged and fought by humans. For its theatrical release weekend, the theater will hit the return key with “Texas Theatre Speed Chess Tournament: Man vs. Machine,” a series of five-minute blitz rounds happening at 7 p.m. Saturday. (Registration begins at 6 p.m.) The competition’s human victor will then face off against “HAL,” an Apple IIGS that Aviation Films’ Barak Epstein has treasured for 25 years — at last proving if mortal or machine can best etch a murderous path within 64 squares. Yes: Things are about to get extremely nerdy. Computer Chess is a DOS-rich fever dream in which characters become trapped in movement loops, psychedelics are consumed and you’re left awkwardly laughing at the physical and philosophical setbacks of its key players. Shot on black and white Sony AVC-3260 video cameras from 1968, the film is lit under purposeful duress, leveling its character’s foibles, insecurities and feelings of overconfidence under a home movie, pseudo-documentary glow. Catch it Friday through Sunday. Tickets cost $10.50. Visit thetexastheatre.com.
Sat., Aug. 31, 2013


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