Pi

Pi

3.5 10
Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman

     
 

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Watching a $60,000, black-and-white indie movie in a format devoted to video and audio clarity may seem like swatting a fly with a Buick. True, there isn't much to be gained from Pi's non-anamorphic, matted presentation (at least it's letterboxed). More importantly, this disc offers a glimpse into the low-budget world of what director Darren Aronofsky calls the "PiSee more details below

Overview

Watching a $60,000, black-and-white indie movie in a format devoted to video and audio clarity may seem like swatting a fly with a Buick. True, there isn't much to be gained from Pi's non-anamorphic, matted presentation (at least it's letterboxed). More importantly, this disc offers a glimpse into the low-budget world of what director Darren Aronofsky calls the "Pi family," and the driving techno soundtrack sounds at least $60K worth of decent in 2.0 Dolby Surround Sound. The behind-the-scenes montage takes about two seconds to demystify the film's special effects secret: hot glue. But viewers will also see the director's mom, Mom's best friend (who had a small acting part), and the low-rent set in low-grade color. The two commentary tracks -- one from the director and one from his college buddy and lead actor Sean Gullette -- reveal the budget- and sanity-stretching hoops the cast and crew jumped through, including shooting illegally on the New York subway and handling a real brain. Four deleted scenes with commentary, film-geek production notes, and home-video footage of the Pi family's trip to Sundance round out this fuzzy, but still fun DVD.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
A little knowledge turns out to be a dangerous thing for the protagonist of this relentlessly energetic psychological thriller. While working on a system to predict stock prices, mathematics genius Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) stumbles onto a powerful secret that piques the interest of both a Wall Street brokerage house and a group of Hasidic Cabalists. The debut feature of director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream), Pi is a stunningly assured showpiece of kinetic visual style with gorgeously grainy, high-contrast black-and-white photography, wild camera movements, and rapid-fire editing. As Max's discovery leads him to the brink of a psychotic breakdown, a throbbing electronic score by Clint Mansell, music by Autechre and Orbital, and head-spinning discussions of Pythagorean theorems and Jewish mysticism add to the heady atmosphere of paranoia. By the end, Pi produces a kind of sensory overload through a barrage of sounds, images, words, and numbers that magnificently capture the thrill and danger of an obsessive search for ultimate truth.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
This moody, impressionistic first effort by newcomer Darren Aronofsky, shot entirely in grainy 16mm black-and-white film stock, gives hope that the midnight movie may not be dead after all. A strange hybrid of David Lynch's classic Eraserhead, 1950s science fiction, and a smattering of religious mysticism, Aronofsky's film creates a definitive portrait of urban paranoia and slowly-developing madness. Shockingly, the film was made for around $60,000, an alarming figure when evidenced by the inventive set construction and remarkably burnished cinematography by Matthew Libatique. Pi won the coveted Grand Jury Prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and became a mid-level success for Artisan Entertainment, the upstart independent studio that would later make a name for itself with the smashing success of The Blair Witch Project.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/12/1999
UPC:
0012236049401
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Time:
1:25:00
Sales rank:
21,324

Special Features

Widescreen version; 2.0 Dolby Surround audio; Director's commentary track; Actor's commentary track; Behind-the-scenes montage; Lost scenes; Music video; Digitally mastered; Interactive menus; Scene access; Theatrical trailers; Production notes; Cast and crew information

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Index
1. Opening Titles [1:26]
2. Nosebleed [1:25]
3. State My Assumptions [1:43]
4. Wall Street Calling [1:16]
5. The Name's Lenny Meyer [1:24]
6. Headache [2:22]
7. Marcy Dawson Calls Back [1:03]
8. Sol 1: Stop Thinking [1:43]
9. Subway Notes [1:38]
10. Kaballah [3:10]
11. Restate My Assumptions [1:26]
12. Press Return [:15]
13. Euclid Crashes [2:39]
14. Sol 2: Archimedes [2:54]
15. A Subway Vision [1:22]
16. Max Is Followed [2:15]
17. Tefillin [4:28]
18. The Ming Mecca Chip [1:01]
19. Subway Headache [3:33]
20. Coney Island [2:25]
21. A New Approach [4:58]
22. Spiral Epiphany [1:36]
23. Max Calls Marcy [2:38]
24. Happy Birthday, Euclid [3:01]
25. Meltdown [4:23]
26. The Next Level [3:34]
27. Sol Confrontation [1:51]
28. Subway Chase [1:53]
29. Wall Street Chase [3:28]
30. Brain in Sink [:40]
31. Rabbi Cohen [5:13]
32. Running to Sol [:53]
33. Sol's Last Words [:49]
34. Last Headache [4:25]
35. Answer? [1:28]
36. End Credits [3:09]

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