Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The Castro Theatre was a packed house for Frameline's screening of Codebreaker, a posh UK documentary about mathematician & pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing. We get an overview of Turing's life & work through interviews with mathematicians, historians, & people who knew him. Interspersed throughout are dramatized scenes depicting Turing's sessions with his psychiatrist, Dr. Franz Greenbaum. The scenes are made-up, though I found affecting a speech in which the fictional Turing equates love & goodness. Ed Stoppard probably portrays an unrealistically attractive Turing, whose stutter & eccentric habits are well-documented.

The film describes Turing's mathematical accomplishments vaguely, explaining the concept of a Universal Turing Machine simply by showing a roll of paper with ones & zeroes being wound between 2 wooden wheels. Interviewees include Dr. Greenbaum's 2 daughters, an excitable Matt Parker, & Turing biographer David Leavitt. The official version of Turing's death by suicide is the only one offered.

Alexis Whitham, Educational Programming & Acquisitions Manager, introduced the film & welcomed GSA students & teachers who were at the show. We also heard from the general director of the It Gets Better Project.

§ Codebreaker
directors: Clare Beaven, Nic Stacey
UK, 2011, 82 mins.

Frameline 37
Tuesday, June 25, 11:30 AM
Castro Theatre

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