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The Bit Player

Mark Levinson

The Bit Player still

USA, 2019, 91 min, DCP, in English

In a blockbuster paper in 1948, Claude Shannon introduced the world to the “bit” and laid the foundation for the information age. The impact would be incredibly far reaching, influencing such diverse fields as communication, linguistics, genetics, computing, cryptography, neuroscience, artificial intelligence and cosmology. Shannon also constructed a mathematical theory of juggling, rode unicycles, wrote the first paper on computer chess and built a flaming trumpet! The Bit Player, directed by Mark Levinson (Particle Fever), combines interviews with leading scientists, archival film, inventive animation and compelling commentary from Shannon himself to tell the story of an overlooked genius who revolutionized the world, but never lost his childlike curiosity.


The fact that you can text a friend for dinner and stream the latest blockbuster while you scan email and post to social media is because of Shannon’s ground-laying work

True Genius Catherine Kelley, Rogue Valley Messenger