Pi (1998) Poster


Sean Gullette: Maximillian Cohen



  • [repeated line] 

    Maximillian Cohen : When I was a little kid, my mother told me not to stare into the sun, so when I was six I did...

  • Maximillian Cohen : 11:15, restate my assumptions: 1. Mathematics is the language of nature. 2. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. 3. If you graph these numbers, patterns emerge. Therefore: There are patterns everywhere in nature.

  • Maximillian Cohen : Restate my assumptions: One, Mathematics is the language of nature. Two, Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. Three: If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge. Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature. Evidence: The cycling of disease epidemics;the wax and wane of caribou populations; sun spot cycles; the rise and fall of the Nile. So, what about the stock market? The universe of numbers that represents the global economy. Millions of hands at work, billions of minds. A vast network, screaming with life. An organism. A natural organism. My hypothesis: Within the stock market, there is a pattern as well... Right in front of me... hiding behind the numbers. Always has been.

  • Sol Robeson : [finishes story of Archimedes' breakthrough]  Now, what is the moral of the story?

    Maximillian Cohen : That a breakthrough will come.

    Sol Robeson : Wrong! The point of the story is the wife. You listen to your wife, she will give you perspective, meaning. You need a break, you have to take a bath or you will get nowhere.

  • Sol Robeson : This is insanity, Max.

    Maximillian Cohen : Or maybe it's genius.

  • [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.

  • Maximillian Cohen : I'm trying to understand our world. I don't deal with petty materialists like you.

  • Rabbi Cohen : Who do you think you are? You are only a vessel from our god. You are carrying a delivery that was meant for us.

    Maximillian Cohen : It was given to me.

  • Maximillian Cohen : 10:15, personal note: It's fair to say I'm stepping out on a limb, but I am on the edge and that's where it happens.

  • Maximillian Cohen : 9:22, 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. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood.

  • Maximillian Cohen : It was given to me. It's inside of me. It's changing me.

    Rabbi Cohen : It's killing you, because you are not ready to receive it.

  • Maximillian Cohen : [In front of the bathroom mirror. Pushes a live power-drill into the side of his head] 

  • Maximillian Cohen : If the number's there I'll find it!

  • Maximillian Cohen : [to Rabbi Cohen and a group of Kabbalists]  It's just a number. I'm sure you've written down every 216 digit number. You've translated all of them. You've intoned them all. Haven't you? What's it gotten you? The number is nothing! It's the meaning. It's the syntax. It's what's between the numbers. You haven't understood it. It's because it's not for you! I've got it. I've got it! And I understand it and I'm going to see it. Rabbi, I was chosen!

  • Maximillian Cohen : Something's going on. It has to do with that number. There's an answer in that number.

  • Maximillian Cohen : My new hypothesis: If we're built from Spirals while living in a giant Spiral, then is it possible that everything we put our hands to is infused with the Spiral?

  • Rabbi Cohen : [a group of Kabbalists, the Rabbi speaks to Max]  The Talmud tells us it began 2,000 years ago, when the Romans destroyed the second temple.

    Maximillian Cohen : What is this?

    Rabbi Cohen : Max, you will understand everything if you listen... The Romans also destroyed our priesthood, the Cohanim. And with their deaths, they destroyed our greatest secret. In the center of the temple was the heart of the Jewish life, the Holy of Holies. It was the earthly residence of our God. The one God. It housed the Ark of the Tabernacle, which stored the original ten commandments which God gave to Moses. Only one man was allowed to enter this Holy of Holies on one day, the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur. On the Day of Atonement, all of Israel would descend upon Jerusalem to watch the High Priest, the Cohen Godul, make his trip to the Holy of Holies. If the High Priest was pure, he would emerge moments later and we were secured a prosperous year. It meant that we were closer to the Messianic Age. But, if he was impure, he would die instantly and it meant that we were doomed. The Holy Priest had one ritual to perform in the Holy of Holies, he had to intone a single word... That word, was the true name of God.

    Maximillian Cohen : So?

    Rabbi Cohen : The true name, which only the Cohanim knew, was 216 letters long.

  • Maximillian Cohen : Studying the pattern made Euclid conscious of itself. I had to... Before it died it spit out the number. That consciousness is the number?

    Sol Robeson : No, Max. It's only a nasty bug.

    Maximillian Cohen : It's more than that, Sol.

    Sol Robeson : No, it's not. It's a dead end. There's nothing there.

    Maximillian Cohen : It's a door, Sol. It's a door.

    Sol Robeson : A door at the front of a cliff. You're driving yourself over the edge.

  • Maximillian Cohen : 12:50, press Return.

  • Maximillian Cohen : Failed treatments to date: Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, adrenalin injections, high dose ibuprofen, steroids, Trager Mentastics, violent exercise, cafergot suppositories, caffeine, acupuncture, marijuana, Percodan, Midrine, Tenormin, Sansert, homeopathics. No results. No results...

  • Maximillian Cohen : 10:28. Results: bullshit.

  • Maximillian Cohen : Happy birthday, Euclid.

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