Don’t Look into the Sun: Analyzing Darren Aronofsky’s Pi College

Years before Black Swan, writer/director Darren Aronofsky exploded across the film universe with his surprisingly low-budget motion picture, Pi. The film is a violently pensive study of the fine line between madness and genius, as well as a warning of the consequences of disregarding human boundaries. Filled to with thoughtful metaphors, extraordinary cinematography, recurring themes, and phenomenal acting, Pi is a chillingly creative success to both the film industry as well as the world of philosophy.

A surreal exploration into the brilliantly unhinged mind of math genius Max Cohen, Pi follows Max as he falls victim to an incurable obsession with finding the numerical pattern – or true answer – to the otherwise chaotic universe. Believing that this 216-digit pattern exists in all aspects of the world – in the stock market, in the numerical translation of the Torah, and in the irrational number pi – Max spirals into a deprecating insanity. He becomes utterly obsessed with the thought of understanding life and consequently becomes consumed by this pursuit of the unknowable.

Paranoid and reclusive, Max at first seems like the unlikeliest of heroes to any story. Shielded from the rest of the world by three different locks on his...

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