Cinema: Pi

Written and Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Max's brain is a delicate instrument with too much complex wiring; all the data give him ferocious migraines. Yet it is the brain of this loopy mathematician (Sean Gullette) that makes him a captive of powerful groups with dark designs--some Wall Street sharpies and a coven of Hasidic Cabalists. This no-budget ($60,000) New York City thriller offers a warning applicable to humans as well as computers: knowledge is a virus. But the real triumph of [Pi] is its sensuous chiaroscuro imagery (cream swirling in coffee, blood dripping from a man's jacket, Max's raccoon eyes after a sleepless night). Aronofsky, who has...

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