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Pi (1998)

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A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director:

Darren Aronofsky
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Popularity
3,877 ( 93)
8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Gullette ... Maximillian Cohen
Mark Margolis ... Sol Robeson
Ben Shenkman ... Lenny Meyer
Pamela Hart Pamela Hart ... Marcy Dawson
Stephen Pearlman ... Rabbi Cohen
Samia Shoaib Samia Shoaib ... Devi
Ajay Naidu ... Farrouhk
Kristyn Mae-Anne Lao ... Jenna
Espher Lao Nieves Espher Lao Nieves ... Jenna's Mom
Joanne Gordon Joanne Gordon ... Mrs. Ovadia
Lauren Fox ... Jenny Robeson
Stanley B. Herman ... Moustacheless Man (as Stanley Herman)
Clint Mansell ... Photographer
Tom Tumminello Tom Tumminello ... Ephraim
Henri Falconi Henri Falconi ... Kaballah Scholar
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Storyline

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..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There will be no order, only chaos See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Live Entertainment

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

3.14159265358 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,069, 12 July 1998

Gross USA:

$3,221,152

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,221,152
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character suffers from cluster headaches also known as suicide headaches, a rare condition widely regarded as the most painful condition anyone can suffer. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Maximillian Cohen: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Leonardo DaVinci listed under "Special Thanks" See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD version includes deleted scenes:
  • Max being threatened by Farrouhk, Devi's jealous boyfriend;
  • Max climbing up a pile of discarded computer parts and monitors;
See more »

Connections

References Brazil (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Drippy
(Banco De Gaia) ©1997 The Ultimate Recording Co. Ltd.
Performed by Banco de Gaia (as Banco De Gaia)
Courtesy of Mammoth Records/Planet Dog Records/The Ultimate Co. Ltd.
Written by Toby Marks (ASCAP)
Published by Notting Hill Music/Wanton Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Genius!
5 October 2003 | by quixoboySee all my reviews

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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