New York Times film critics Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott have compiled a strong and thorough list of 20 rising young filmmakers. Included in the group is Austinite Andrew Bujalski, the writer and director of the experimental "Computer Chess." The movie, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival captures an amorphous time that bridged a touchy-feely New Age generation with a world of increasing technology. The whole movie takes place at a hotel where there is a battle between computer wizards and machines.
Bujalski tells Dargis that despite his success at Sundance and the limited release of "Computer Chess" by Kino Lorber, the new dad talks about the hard road as an indie filmmaker and the challenges of making money. Bujalski adapted Benjamin Kunkel’s novel "Indecision" for Paramount, but he’s by no means an easy fit for Hollywood, a fact he recognizes with his trademark deadpan humor.
"The currency of Hollywood is heat, which makes it difficult," Bujalski tells Dargis. "I’m always afraid when I go into these meetings in Hollywood that either these people have no idea who I am, or they do know who I am, and then I’m really in trouble."The profile of the 20 directors is just part of the Times’ comprehensive fall preview that also includes a profile of "Gravity" star Sandra Bullock, whom writer Brooks Barnes calls "arguably Hollywood’s gutsiest A-list actress."While George Clooney may have more name-ID than his co-star, Barnes writes that Clooney only appears in about a third of the film."It’s largely a solo performance by Ms. Bullock in the way that ‘Cast Away’ rested squarely on Tom Hanks, securing him an Oscar nomination in the process. (Hint, hint.)," Barnes writes.
Read our interview with Bujalski from Sundance here and read our review of ‘Computer Chess’ here.