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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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2,664 ( 1,032)
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:

3.14159265358 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,216,970, 29 November 1998
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

Director Darren Aronofsky's mother catered for the film. See more »

Goofs

The logic followed by the Kabbalists with respect to Hebrew numerology is flawed. First, there are no zeroes in the Hebrew numerological system. Second, in Hebrew numerology, the different letters have values that vary in the number of digits (the values range from 1 to 400, with only the first 9 letters having single-digit values.) Therefore, it is impossible to create a specific 216-letter-word in Hebrew given a 216-digit-number with zeroes in it. It has been argued that the Kabbalists do not use Hebrew numbers to decipher the code, rather, they use the modern western number system to correlate the 216 character name to each Hebrew letter. Nevertheless, the premise seems to be muddled, at best, if not completely flawed. 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

End credits shown over bugs crawling on Max's papers. 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

Referenced in The Loss (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Bucephalus Bouncing Ball
(uncredited)
Written and Produced by Aphex Twin (as Richard James)
Performed by Aphex Twin
See more »

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User Reviews

It's not so black and white.
22 December 2002 | by Logos_RemovedSee all my reviews

This intriguing film reminded me of David Lynch's Eraserhead somewhat. The soundscape of the movie was very industrial in places and the metaphorical imagery used was reminiscent of the early Lynch film. Unlike Eraserhead however this effort has "student film-maker" written all over it, which is not to detract from the entertainment value of the movie.

The movie's protagonist thinks mathematics can provide the answers to the big questions, but finds out the painful way that it cannot. This is all illustrated quite appropriately within a hallucinatory milieu. Unfortunately is it all a bit too obvious unlike David Lynch who can have machinations within machinations to the point of indecipherability. That criticism aside, the lighting, sound effects and photography were all interesting and combined to provide a claustrophobic feeling and a sense of unrelenting futility.

To sum the piece struck me as the early work of a director who is on the up and up. I am looking forward to seeing some more of his work in the future. I enjoyed this movie despite its flaws and give it a 6/10 score.


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