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PI [DVD] [1999]

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Product details

  • Actors: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart, Stephen Pearlman
  • Directors: Darren Aronofsky
  • Writers: Sean Gullette, Darren Aronofsky, Eric Watson
  • Producers: David Godbout, Eric Watson, Jonah Smith, Katie King
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Pathe
  • DVD Release Date: 19 July 2004
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004D0C6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,582 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Surreal psychological drama written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. Maximillian Cohen (Sean Gullette)'s obsession with numbers is causing him migraines and his former teacher Sol (Mark Margolis) advises him to take a break from trying to discover patterns in the stock market. However, when Max's computer crashes after predicting a market collapse and spitting out a 216-digit number, Max initially dismisses it. That is, until the prediction comes true, and he realises that the number which he consigned to the trash could be the key he has been searching for.


Patterns exist everywhere: in nature, in science, in religion, in business. Max Cohen (played hauntingly by Sean Gullette) is a mathematician searching for these patterns in everything. Yet, he's not the only one, and everyone from Wall Street investors, looking to break the market, to Hasidic Jews, searching for the 216-digit number that reveals the true name of God, are trying to get their hands on Max. This dark, low-budget film was shot in black and white by director Darren Aronofsky. With eerie music, voice-overs, and overt symbolism enhancing the somber mood, Aronofsky has created a disturbing look at the world. Max is deeply paranoid, holed up in his apartment with his computer Euclid, obsessively studying chaos theory. Blinding headaches and hallucinogenic visions only feed his paranoia as he attempts to remain aloof from the world, venturing out only to meet his mentor, Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis), who for some mysterious reason feels Max should take a break from his research. Pi is complex--occasionally toocomplex--but the psychological drama and the loose sci-fi elements make this a worthwhile, albeit consuming, watch. Pi won the Director's Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. --Jenny Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 13 Jan 2006
Format: DVD
"Pi" is a remarkable film in many ways. I don't think I've ever seen a film that manages to make mathematics so chic and paranoid reclusivity so cool. "Pi" is shot in grainy monochrome, and is directed pacily by Darren Aronofsky ,using innovative camerawork and an intense techno soundtrack to convey the obsessive-compulsive behaviour of the central character, mathematical genius Max Cohen (Sean Gullette). The storyline is based on Cohen's belief that mathematics underlies every part of existence and that the universe is effectively a large scale computer programme which can be graphed and amended if the correct mathematical formula or numerical sequence is identified. A 216 digit number appears to hold the key to this discovery and Cohen's research into this leads him into a disturbing world of blinding headaches, hallucinogenic visions and harrassment by Kabbalists and Wall Street sharks. "Pi" is a fascinating , intelligent movie that manages to link maths, philosophy, religion and economics into a stylish and exciting thriller. The film is a little on the short side at 70 minutes however. After watching "Pi" , you'll probably wish you'd taken Additional Maths at school when you had the chance.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crane on 17 Nov 2003
Format: DVD
"Pi" is an outstanding and complex thriller with brains and structure. For such a low budget film, this great movie shows you that greatness doesn't have to only come out of big budget films with well-known stars. It is a film that gets in your head and stays with you long after it is over.
This dark and quiet thriller is about Maximilian Cohen, a brilliant mathematician who believes that everything in life revolves around patterns and numbers. For years he has been trying to find this pattern that could unlock everything we see and know. He starts with the stock market, the ultimate system of ordered chaos. The deeper he digs, the more insane he becomes. And the more he finds out, the more danger he is thrown into. The pattern itself proves to be just as deadly as the people who are after him. The twists and complexity will leave you in awe.
While this movie may be confusing at times, it still does its job and keeps us intrigued throughout the duration of the film. The acting and writing is really remarkable. Sean Gullette is very convincing as Max. I don't think there is anybody else who could've gotten the job done. Everybody else was also great in it as well. The film is also a debut from Darren Aronofsky; and a powerful one at that. Very well written and directed. Some of the camera techniques are really great and allow you to get inside of the main character's head.
"Pi" is a movie that requires you to think throughout the film and after. It's a film that will mostly appeal to those who like quiet and unique thrillers. There's no non-stop shootings or explosions in this movie. And it's not a film that everyone is going to like. However, seeing that the movie is only 85 minutes long, why not give it a shot? If you want something new and different, "Pi" is the film for you. A very outstanding picture.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jan 2001
Format: DVD
Darren Aronofsky's first feature is a stunning debut feature and a testament to a formidable young talent. The central character of the film is Maximillian Cohen, played by Sean Gullete, a obsessive and brilliant mathematician and his search for a mathematical pattern in the stock exchange. Don't be put off by this though, as there is very little raw maths in the film, and the little there is I actually found quite interesting. Instead, the film focuses on Cohen's descent into madness and paranoia as the result of an `accident' when he was a child, which (cliche, I know) appears to have caused his talent for mathematics, and the gangster types who are pursuing him for the secret concerning the stock exchange respectively. The film builds up the tension to an unbearably level before the shocking yet perfectly fitting climax.
Helped by a literate and well-researched script, co-written by the director and Eric Watson, as well as a strong and highly-developed central performance from Gullete, Aronofsky has built a claustrophobic, visually intense and innovative thriller. Shot entirely in grainy black and white and reminiscent of David Lynch's own halucinogenic debut feature `Eraserhead', as well as the films of Kubrick and Hitchcock, elements of this film have already had an influence on several directors, most notably Christopher Nolan. Superbly confident for such a young director, Aronofsky is not afraid to repeat himself and uses several recurring visual and aural motifs and segments of film in the manner of a great composer to enhance the insanity of the experience. Every frame is packed with stark imagery and an unmistakable ambience and his use of the camera and of sound to draw the viewer into the mind of Cohen is brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PD Waite on 2 Oct 2007
Format: DVD
Taut, thought-provoking, and stylish. A film about maths, mysticism and obsession, powerfully realised on a micro-budget. Forgive the occasional lapse in believability, and enjoy the trip.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Ogrady on 12 April 2008
Format: DVD
For £5 this film is a bargain, cheaper then a cinema ticket. Is worth the DVD if u didn't see it!

This film is in black and white and i thought it might be dull.... but oh no
from tecno matrix style opening. To the repetitive scenes of being shot with a tranquiliser gun this film is one of weirdest I've ever seen. It kinda set to music, there's a headache inducing noise throughout the film if you can call it that.

This is supposed to be a window into the mind of a paranoid genius with a mysterious formula that might explain ..., everything! or the stock market maybe. And perhaps it's pretty realistic?? despites it's craziness the lead character is believable... you start believing in his crazy formula to! The black and white really works making everything feel 'quantified'.

Then people start offering him millions of pounds ... and like a crazy person he naturally trys to run away! not wrecking the plot, that's about the first 3 minutes!
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