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Pi (1998)

Cast: Sean Gullette, Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, more...
Director: Darren Aronofsky, Darren Aronofsky
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Live/Artisan
Genre: Independent, Experimental/Avant-Garde
Running Time: 85 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Darren Aronofsky scripted and made his directorial debut with this experimental feature with mathematical plot threads hinting at science-fictional elements. In NYC's Chinatown, recluse math genius Max (Sean Gullette) believes "everything can be understood in terms of numbers," and he looks for a pattern in the system as he suffers headaches, plays Go with former teacher Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis), and fools around with an advanced computer system he's built in his apartment. Both a Wall Street company and a Hasidic sect take an interest in his work, but he's distracted by blackout attacks, hallucinations, and paranoid delusions. Filmed in 16mm black-and-white, the Kafkaesque film features music by Clint Mansell (of the UK's Pop Will Eat Itself band). Shown at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival where Aronofsky won the drama directing award. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Requiem for a Dream
Aronofsky's sophomore effort was more polished and slightly more comic but no less harrowing

Jacob's Ladder
A Vietnam vet loses his grip on reality in this mind-bending thriller

GreenCine Member Reviews

Shallow depths by jwardowski January 20, 2005 - 9:01 PM PST
2 out of 14 members found this review helpful
It's the movie you wrote the morning after your first acid trip.

The reason why you cannot BS your way through a script by Transpirations December 31, 2004 - 12:10 PM PST
4 out of 12 members found this review helpful
Story: How can you write a script about mathematical anomalies that doesn't have anything to do with math? This supposedly brilliant mathematician occupies his time by doodling on pages of stock market quotes. Then he types something into a giant computer and presses return. Then the computer beeps and spits out numbers. Then he curses. The entire plot is based around BS. This movie is extremely disappointing for anyone who is actually interested in its' subject matter.

acting: Nothing especially good. Nothing epsecially bad.

cinematography: High contrast black and white. Shot on super 16. Very grainy. No great shot composition to be found. This is the visual style I love more than anything, but it's not done well.

This is one of those movies where, 15 minutes in, you find yourself wishing the protagonist would die.

Let's hear it for the art of low-budge filmmaking! by maritoni July 7, 2003 - 11:13 AM PDT
10 out of 11 members found this review helpful
Fascinating and visually arresting feature debut of Darren Aronofsky. The talented director gives you a true film experience.

Sean Gullette stars (and co-wrote the script) as Max a paranoid (rightfully so) sociophobic genuis mathemetician in search of the pattern behind the stock market. The story is a bit clunky as is some of the supporting acting (especially the "corporates" who are out to get him), but Gullette and Aronofsky do a nice job getting us into Max's head. And what Max is really looking for is simple and earnest - truth and order.

What's really great about the film is the wonderful use of the medium in telling the story. Aronofsky and his crew present a visual and emotional story without having to tell us so explicity as we've seen time and time again in low budget indie flicks.

Definitely a must see!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.95)
1048 Votes
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