Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky

Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, ‘Pi’ (1990) is a psychological thriller film following the journey of mastermind mathematician, Maximillian Cohen (played by Sean Gullette), whose sole mental stability relies upon calculating an equation of arithmetic patterns, which equal to an infinite sum of Pi. These multiple arithmetic patterns Max happens to be computing are the most historically and scientifically interconnected patterns known to appear throughout the universe.

“Sean [Gullette] was almost always shot in profile, so he was more of an objective and the audience was seeing his point of view more subjectively.”
— Darren Aronofsky

Aronofsky’s distinctive camera angles, lighting and filming techniques in ‘Pi’ allow the viewers to distinguish the aura of uneasiness in each scene, in both Max’s internal and external world, whether chaotic or euphoric. In addition to shots with his back faced to the camera fully encapsulated within his experimental laboratory, Aronofsky also incorporates unnerving childhood flashbacks with layering cryptic sound effects so the viewers are able to grasp the deep mystery to Max’s true character.

To understand the level of chaos and mental instability within the mind of Maximilian’s character, he narrates his own life by exact time measurements of personal notes, euphoric and observational thoughts. We are wrapped in two entirely different characters from inside Max’s mind to how he outwardly portrays himself to society. 

“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.”
“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
“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.”
— Maximillian Cohen
Milly Cope

Milly Cope

Calling all creatures

Calling all creatures