Set over four days at a computer chess convention in the early 80's, the film looks at the social interactions and awkwardness of the characters and how they approach one another - from the perfectly portrayed cockiness of Michael Papageorge to Biston's shy and confused mumbling - while also asking questions about what it means to be human and the future of artificial intelligence.
One of the best scenes is set up as a flashback, a story being told at the bar about a late night programming session with one of the AI. "What is the highest value?" asks the computer. Our programmer, Beuscher, struggles. Infinity? Love? Life? The computer doesn't understand, or does it? A discussion about the location of the soul follows before Beuscher gets frustrated and tells the computer that he is the one asking the questions. When the computer prompts him to ask, he responds with "Who are you". I won't spoil the answer here but will say that it sets up the end of the film perfectly.
The aesthetic of the film is also pitch perfect. It is uniquely shot. At times it feels like you're watching a video from that time period but then there are surrealistic flourishes, jump cuts, disjointed audio, and an hilarious color scene (most of the film is in B&W) just in case the viewer is getting too comfortable.
Overall, Bujalski has created something both fun to watch and interesting to think about. It is the type of film that makes me exited about movies again.