Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why Films Love Chess

It seems to be a chess and movies week this week. Even the gents over in S&B finally have a post on The Seventh Seal. But today the BBC's Finlo Rohrer poses a question that, I'm sure, a lot of us have wondered about at one time or other. Why do the movies love chess?

It's a rather enlightening piece. I had no idea there were some 2,000 films with some sort of chess-related content, at least according to a book by Bob Basalla. And Bill Wall's site (provided by that BBC page), for example, has a list of just over 1,700 titles. Amazing!

Yet chess is by no means limited to cinema as far as popular media is concerned. Just look around you: the game is in magazine ads, billboards, online banner ads - everywhere! Once I even thought of this as some kind of exploitation. They use the game but give nothing back.

Actually, here's an interesting exercise. If you spot an ad with chess in it, tell us about it. Post the ad headline, product being sold, media type, where and when you saw it.

And finally we should all say a happy birthday to that chess playing movie superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yesterday was his 60th. Happy Birthday Arnie.

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