Lost in the Movies: Pi (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #38)

Pi (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #38)

Over the past couple months, I explored two works by Jane Campion on this podcast; as spring shifts to summer, I'll be turning my attention to three films by another director - Darren Aronofsky. His debut film Pi, in 1998, marks a moment - around the same time as Rushmore, Magnolia, Memento, and The Virgin Suicides - when a new crop of Gen X directors moved beyond the indie template of snappy dialogue-heavy talkfests and an ironic, self-conscious hipster/geek sensibility established by Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino a few years earlier (although obviously Tarantino incorporated his fair share of visual and narrative flourishes into the mix). That scope would widen and the mood would deepen around the turn of the millennium. Aronofsky's feature debut Pi, co-written with the film's star Sean Gullette - who has gone on to direct other numerically-obsessed works himself, has a claustrophobic approach to character and cinematography alongside cosmic thematic ambitions. The story of a brilliant recluse, whose number-crunching efforts to "crack the code" of the stock market brings him into contact with a mystical cult, the film drapes itself in a monochrome aesthetic featuring high-contrast black-and-white film stock and old-school computer monitor graphics, both relics of a bygone era. Adding to the film's eerie resonance, I originally watched and reviewed Pi back in 2018 on a day full of coincidental connections, which I discuss in the episode. I'm also including some feedback I received about the film's heady aura and connections to other "mysterious fiction." If you have additional thoughts on any Aronofsky works, please leave a comment here or elsewhere and I'll share it on the next podcast, on the director's follow-up...

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Cross-posts for patron podcasts in January & February

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