My 100 favourite films. Entry #24: Pi.

Pi (1998)
directed by Darren Aronofsky
starring Sean Gullette and Mark Margolis
country: usa
genre: thriller

Visuals: 9
Writing: 5
Everyday watchability: 4
Length of number searched for in film: 216

I saw this movie when I was still in high school late at night either on Bravo. The next time it aired I taped it. It tells the story of Max, a mathematician trying to find a pattern in the stock market.

Throughout the film, Max repeats his three assumptions:
1. Mathematics is the language of nature.
2. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers.
3. If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge.
Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature.

Using his homemade computer named Euclid, he stumbles upon a 216-digit number and a number of different factions want it: an overzealous member of some unnamed federal agency; his mentor with whom he plays games of Go; a group of hasidic Jews that believe the number may be the key to finding the name of God (based on Gematria). It all sounds crazy, and it really is, but it's all held together my Max's blindness of vision. He's so certain of these patterns that his single-minder pursuit constantly drives the movie forward. That and the camerawork and music. Like Aronofsky's other movies, image and sound work as a team. Being a film, you're probably thinking that films do that inherently, but that's not so. Only filmmakers that are truly in control of the medium can put together as cohesive an audio-video package as Aronofsky. Of course, he managed to find some of the best in the business (photographer Matthew Libatique and composer Clint Mansell) before they were known.


1 comment(s).:

September 8, 2008 at 6:09 PM MPU said...

Holy Fibonacci Batman! We need to eat Pi!

3.14159 times, Robin.