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..
Backstories for the characters Max and Sol were conceived by Sean Gullette and Darren Aronofsky, but they were never written for the film. They would have been about Max proving to be a math prodigy at a very young age and soon attending Columbia University, where he met Sol, a Russian expatriate, who was captured by American Forces and was given the chance to assist in the building of nuclear weapons because of his great math prowess. He refused and was relocated to Siberia, where he was soon let out and acquired a job teaching math at Columbia University. If given a closer look at Sol's wrists, prison tattoos can be seen. See more »
Even given the eons of time needed to write down and intone all the 216-digit numbers, there isn't room. The surface area of the earth is approximately 510 million square kilometers, or 510 * 10^6 sq. km, which, given 10^12 square millimeters to each square km, is 510 * 10^18 square mm of surface area. If you divide 10^216 numbers by the total surface area of the earth, you would still need to write over 10^190 numbers in each square millimeter of space. Since a square millimeter can contain less than 10^15 atoms of hydrogen, the impossibility of this task is obvious. See more »
9:13, Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six I did. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal. I was terrified, alone in that darkness. Slowly, daylight crept in through the bandages, and I could see. But something else had changed inside of me. That day I had my first headache.
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Leonardo DaVinci listed under "Special Thanks" See more »
The DVD also contains a 2-minute test of the "Snorricam" with Guillete walking on the street and through a market. The "Snorricam" is the camera used in Pi which follows Max from head on, with his orientation always in the center. Also, it contains a small scene with Max playing with Jenna's Slinky. Other extra's inclued a music video and a behind the scenes look. See more »
I have yet to come even close to fully appreciating the sheer artistry and complexity of Darren Aronofsky's stunning mathematical/sci-fi thriller, "Pi". Watching this film, one can tell from the subdued effects, grainy black-and-white filter, and guerrilla-style filmmaking that this must be a low-budget independent film - NOT to try and downplay its impact, as many independent films can clearly surpass any typical Hollywood movie, in terms of style and subject matter.
"Pi" is a perfectly concrete example of how the relative absence of special effects, explosions, etc. can still help create an engaging, and thoroughly unique viewing experience. Overflowing with intensity and hyperkinetic camerawork, this is a frightening roller-coaster ride of a film; despite clocking in at less than 90 minutes, "Pi" is by no means short on resonance - but rather leaves a heavy feeling of exuberance and fascination with the material that lasts long after it's finished. At the same time, though, people who aren't as open-minded to more obscure, abstract films like this would be, I think, surprised. This is not as complicated or bewildering a film as I had expected. If one can be able to focus intently on the story, the result is rewarding, and doesn't provide for much head-scratching. Its style seems rather modern, rather hip...at times it reminded me of "The Matrix" (which, ironically, was released the FOLLOWING year) what with its slick techno musical score and its flashy opening credits.
To shy away from this film simply because of its math content is to be completely shallow and ignorant. The way it handles the material is a whole lot more interesting than you'd probably think. Like "A Beautiful Mind", "Pi" is an instant classic that serves to re-awaken my erratic interests in my poorest subject, mathematics. It's original, it's interesting, and above all - genius.
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