Matthias Grunsky, bvk cinematographer


“the image shows "combing," "ghosting," and other intentional defects, which become as purposeful as pre-faded bluejeans and as pleasing as the paint drips on a Rauschenberg canvas. (Cinematographer Matthias Grunsky ought to be nominated for an Oscar alongside Sean Bobbit of "12 Years a Slave" and Emmanuel Lubezki of "Gravity," and I'm not joking.)”

SCREEN CRAVE - Christie Ko:
“This film is intelligent to its core, testing its limitations with brave camera work and a Lynch-worthy meta-narrative.”

THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE - Marjorie Baumgarten:
“The unique vision of Computer Chess makes it one of the [Sundance] festival’s standouts.”

THE NEW YORKER - Richard Brody:
“…an extraordinarily inventive and richly textured period piece…”

"Bujalski’s black-and-white visuals are novel...Computer Chess is major filmmaking..."

SLANT MAGAZINE - Elise Nakhnikian:
“The camera wanders through the hallways or into rooms like another contestant, seemingly happening upon people and then staying with them a while. That random quality and the deadpan awkwardness of the main characters gives the whole thing a comic quality, but Computer Chess is sneakily observant and surprisingly resonant."

HAMMER TO NAIL - Michael Ryan:
“it is a complete and utter cinematic experience, in large part due to it being shot on the Sony AVC 3260, a ’70s-era tethered video tube camera…its unique vibe is both disorientating and transporting.”

Bujalski and his ingenious cinematographer Matthias Grunsky performed their own modifications on the AVC-3260, converting its analog signal to digital as they were recording. Since the conversion was not exactly seamless, the postproduction was neither cheap nor easy. Still, the tube camera is what gives Computer Chess its future/past sci-fi tone, just as Chris Marker’s use of black-and-white stills does in La Jetée (1963). The movie seems like something retrieved from a thirty-five-year-old time capsule, which, in terms of the speed of technological change over that period, might have been light years away.”

VARIETY - Justin Chang:
“Computer Chess - An endearingly nutty, proudly analog tribute to the ultra-nerdy innovators of yesteryear…”

“…in the guise of messing around with the limitations of PortaPak video aesthetics…Bujalski gets at something deep and true about the nature of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and the young nerds of every generation who go on to invent the stuff that changes the lives of all the rest of us.”

THREE THOUSAND (Australia) - Kane Daniel:
“The film was shot entirely on black and white Sony AVC 3260 tube cameras manufactured in the early ’70s, emphasizing an atmosphere of unreality. There’s a great deal of uncanny beauty wrung out of its high contrast and analog artifacting. And though the flimsy mockumentary conceit, its execution is far more interesting. Seamlessly - and without signposting - moving from the inept shooting of an amateur operator to cinematic (though in a 4:3 ratio) framing and editing to surreal impressionism. Mutable, respiratorily shifting. Just like its narrative content.”

CAHIERS DU CINÉMA - Gaspard Nectoux:
“Le trop-plein (visuel, comique et spéculatif) sculpte un film profondément disloqué, plus humain et incertain qu’il n’y paraît.”