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Pi  

Theatrical release poster  
Directed by  Darren Aronofsky 
Produced by  Darren Aronofsky Eric Watson Scott Vogel 
Screenplay by  Darren Aronofsky 
Story by  Darren Aronofsky Sean Gullette Eric Watson 
Starring  Sean Gullette Mark Margolis Ben Shenkman Samia Shoaib 
Music by  Clint Mansell 
Cinematography  Matthew Libatique 
Editing by  Oren Sarch 
Studio  Protozoa Pictures 
Distributed by  Artisan Entertainment 
Release dates  July 10, 1998 
Running time  83 minutes 
Country  United States 
Language  English 
Budget  $60,000 
Box office  $3,221,152^{[1]} 
Pi  

Theatrical release poster  
Directed by  Darren Aronofsky 
Produced by  Darren Aronofsky Eric Watson Scott Vogel 
Screenplay by  Darren Aronofsky 
Story by  Darren Aronofsky Sean Gullette Eric Watson 
Starring  Sean Gullette Mark Margolis Ben Shenkman Samia Shoaib 
Music by  Clint Mansell 
Cinematography  Matthew Libatique 
Editing by  Oren Sarch 
Studio  Protozoa Pictures 
Distributed by  Artisan Entertainment 
Release dates  July 10, 1998 
Running time  83 minutes 
Country  United States 
Language  English 
Budget  $60,000 
Box office  $3,221,152^{[1]} 
Pi, also titled π,^{[nb 1]} is a 1998 American surrealist psychological thriller film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. It is Aronofsky's directorial debut, and earned him the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay and the Gotham Open Palm Award. The title refers to the mathematical constant pi.^{[nb 2]} Like most of Aronofsky's films, Pi centers on a protagonist whose obsessive pursuit of ideals leads to severely selfdestructive behavior.
Maximillian "Max" Cohen (Sean Gullette), the story's protagonist and unreliable narrator, is a number theorist who believes that everything in nature can be understood through numbers. He is capable of doing simple arithmetic calculations involving large numbers in his head, a skill that impresses Jenna, a small girl with a calculator who lives in his apartment building. Max also suffers from cluster headaches, as well as extreme paranoia, hallucinations, and social anxiety disorder. Other than Devi (Samia Shoaib), a woman living next door who sometimes speaks to him, Max's only social interaction is with Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis), his old mathematics mentor.
Max begins making stock predictions based on the calculations of his computer, Euclid. In the middle of printing out its picks, Euclid suddenly crashes after spitting out a seemingly random 216digit number, as well as a single pick at onetenth its current value. Disgusted, Max tosses out the printout of the number. The next morning, he checks the financial pages and sees that the pick Euclid made was accurate. He searches desperately for the printout but cannot find it. Sol becomes unnerved when Max mentions the number, asking if it contained 216 digits. When Max questions him about the number, Sol indicates that he came across it many years ago. He urges Max to slow down and try taking a break.
At a coffee shop, Max meets Lenny Meyer (Ben Shenkman), a Hasidic Jew who coincidentally does mathematical research on the Torah. Lenny demonstrates some simple Gematria, the correspondence of the Hebrew alphabet to numbers, and explains how some people believe that the Torah is a string of numbers that form a code sent by God. Max takes an interest when he realizes that some of the number concepts Lenny discusses are similar to other mathematical concepts, such as the Fibonacci sequence. Max is also met by agents of a Wall Street firm who are interested in his work. One of the agents, Marcy Dawson, offers Max a classified computer chip called "Ming Mecca" in exchange for the results of his work, which Max eventually accepts.
Using the chip, Max has Euclid analyze mathematical patterns in the Torah. Euclid spits out the 216digit number before crashing again. When his computer refuses to print out the number, Max begins to write it down. Midway through the writing, Max realizes that he knows the pattern, undergoes a sudden epiphany, and passes out. Thereafter, Max appears to become clairvoyant and is able to visualize the stock market patterns he had been searching for. But his headaches also increase in intensity, and he discovers a strange veinlike bulge protruding from his right temple. Max has a falling out with Sol after the latter urges him to quit his work.
Dawson and her agents grab Max on the street and try to force him to explain the number. They had found the original printout and had been trying to use it to manipulate the stock market in their favor, but as a result, caused it to crash. Although Max is held at gunpoint, Lenny drives by and rescues him. However, Lenny and his companions make similar demands on Max to give them the number. They finally reveal their intentions: they believe the number was meant for them to bring about the messianic age, as the number represents the unspeakable name of God. Max refuses, insisting that whatever the source of the number is, it has been revealed to him alone.
Max flees and tries to visit Sol, only to find that he has died. Max searches his house and finds mathematical scribblings similar to his own, eventually finding a piece of paper with the number. Driven to the brink of madness, Max experiences another headache and resists the urge to take his painkillers which causes him to destroy some of the parts of Euclid. Believing that the number and the headaches are linked, Max tries to concentrate on the number through the pain. After passing out, Max has a vision of himself standing in a white void and repeating the digits of the number. The vision ends with Max hugging Devi, who turns out to be an illusion. Max stands alone in his trashed apartment. Max burns the paper with the number and blithely performs an impromptu trepanning on himself in the right cerebral hemisphere with a power drill.
Later, Jenna, the little girl with the calculator, approaches Max in a park asking math problems, including 748 ÷ 238, which is an approximation for the mathematical constant Pi. Max smiles and claims that he doesn't know the answer to them. He observes the trees blowing in the breeze, at peace.
Pi was written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, and filmed on highcontrast blackandwhite reversal film. It was produced on a sufficiently low budget of $60,000, but proved a financial success at the box office ($3,221,152 gross in the U.S.) despite only a limited release to theaters. It has sold steadily on DVD.
The film was well received upon its release; on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 87% 'Fresh' rating based on 52 reviews with an average rating of 7.3/10.^{[2]} On Metacritic, the film has a rating of 72 (generally favorable reviews) out of 100 based on 23 reviews.^{[3]} Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four, writing: "Pi is a thriller. I am not very thrilled these days by whether the bad guys will get shot or the chase scene will end one way instead of another. You have to make a movie like that pretty skillfully before I care. But I am thrilled when a man risks his mind in the pursuit of a dangerous obsession."^{[4]} James Berardinelli gave the film three out of four stars, writing: "[Pi] transports us to a world that is like yet unlike our own, and, in its mysterious familiarity, is eerie, intense, and compelling. Reality is a fragile commodity, but, because the script is wellwritten and the central character is strongly developed, it's not hard to suspend disbelief....It probably deserves 3.1416 stars, but since my scale doesn't support that, I'll round it off to three."^{[5]}
Pi features several references to mathematics and mathematical theories. For instance, Max finds the golden spiral occurring everywhere, including the stock market. Max's belief that diverse systems embodying highly nonlinear dynamics share a unifying pattern bears much similarity to results in chaos theory, which provides machinery for describing certain phenomena of nonlinear systems, which might be thought of as patterns.
In the film, Max periodically plays Go with his mentor, Sol.^{[6]} This game has historically stimulated the study of mathematics^{[7]} and features a simple set of rules that results in a complex game strategy. The two characters each use the game as a model for their view of the universe; Sol says that the game is a microcosm of an extremely complex and chaotic world, while Max asserts that patterns can be found in the complexity of its variations.^{[6]}^{[nb 3]}
Actors Sean Gullette and Mark Margolis both spent many hours learning the game at the Brooklyn Go Club, and had the help of a Go consultant, Don Weiner (misspelled as Dan), for the film.^{[6]}
When Lenny begins talking about his work with Max early in the film, he asks if Max is familiar with kabbalah. The numerological interpretation of the Torah and the 216letter name of God, known as the Shem HaMeforash, are important concepts in traditional Jewish mysticism.
π  

Soundtrack album by Clint Mansell  
Released  July 21, 1998 
Genre  Soundtracks Electronica 
Label  Sire 
Pi launched the film scoring career of Clint Mansell. Allmusic rated it 4.5 stars out of five.^{[8]} A music video for "πr²", using an alternative mix of the title track, is available as a special feature on the π DVD, consisting of footage from the film intercut with stock color reels of ants, harking back to one of the film's visual motifs.
No.  Title  Artist  Length  

1.  "πr²"  Clint Mansell  1:29  
2.  "P.E.T.R.O.L."  Orbital  6:22  
3.  "Kalpol Introl" (The back cover incorrectly names track 3 as "Kalpol Intro".)  Autechre  3:30  
4.  "Bucephalus Bouncing Ball"  Aphex Twin  6:02  
5.  "Watching Windows" (Ed Rush & Optical remix)  Roni Size  6:35  
6.  "Angel"  Massive Attack  6:10  
7.  "We Got the Gun"  Clint Mansell  4:52  
8.  "No Man's Land"  David Holmes  6:18  
9.  "Anthem"  GusGus  4:52  
10.  "Drippy"  Banco de Gaia  8:37  
11.  "Third from the Sun"  Psilonaut  5:10  
12.  "A Low Frequency Inversion Field"  Spacetime Continuum  6:58  
13.  "2πr"  Clint Mansell  3:05 
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