July 10th, 1998

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Darren Aronofsky in PiStill of Sean Gullette and Pamela Hart in PiStill of Mark Margolis in PiRenegade mathematician Max Cohen (Sean Gullette, left) and the leader of the Kabbalah sect, Lenny Meyer (Ben Shenkman) have a chance encounter on a Chinatown street corner.Still of Sean Gullette in PiDarren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette and Matthew Libatique in Pi

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 7.5/10 (76,232 voted)

Critic's Score: 72/100

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman

Max is a genius mathematician who's built a supercomputer at home that provides something that can be understood as a key for understanding all existence. Representatives both from a Hasidic cabalistic sect and high-powered Wall Street firm hear of that secret and attempt to seduce him.

Writers: Darren Aronofsky, Darren Aronofsky

Sean Gullette - Maximillian Cohen
Mark Margolis - Sol Robeson
Ben Shenkman - Lenny Meyer
Pamela Hart - Marcy Dawson
Stephen Pearlman - Rabbi Cohen
Samia Shoaib - Devi
Ajay Naidu - Farrouhk
Kristyn Mae-Anne Lao - Jenna
Espher Lao Nieves - Jenna's Mom
Joanne Gordon - Mrs. Ovadia
Lauren Fox - Jenny Robeson
Stanley B. Herman - Moustacheless Man
Clint Mansell - Photographer
Tom Tumminello - Ephraim
Henri Falconi - Kaballah Scholar

Taglines: There will be no order, only chaos


Official Website: Live Entertainment |

Release Date: 10 July 1998

Filming Locations: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $60,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $31,069 (USA) (12 July 1998) (1 Screen)

Gross: $3,216,970 (USA) (29 November 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Pi cost only $60,000 to make, most of which was raised in the form of individual $100 contributions from the director's friends and family. When it was later bought by Artisan Entertainment, each contributor got back a $150 return on their investment.

Factual errors: Max mentions that the Golden Mean is represented by the Greek letter theta. In fact it is denoted using the Greek letter Tau or, more commonly Phi, whereas phi is used to denote 1/Phi. Phi is for Phidias, a 5th Century BC Greek sculptor who employed the ratio.

[first lines]
Maximillian Cohen: 9:13, Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six I did. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal. I was terrified, alone in that darkness. Slowly, daylight crept in through the bandages, and I could see. But something else had changed inside of me. That day I had my first headache.

User Review

Indie film at its best

Rating: 10/10

'Pi' is independent filmmaking at its best. Without the constraints of the studio/corporate system, Aronofsky and Gullette created a film that is bizarre, intelligent, and unlike anything that came out of Hollywood in the 1990's. Who would have thought to blend Wall Street, the Kabbalah, computer science, Go, number theory, and the most fascinating number in the universe in a solute of obsessive-compulsive, paranoid genius and then strain through gritty B&W cinematography and hyperkinetic editing? The mixture is definitely not for everybody, but I certainly loved it.

Plus the soundtrack (featuring Orbital, Clint Mansell, Aphex Twin. Gus Gus, Spacetime Continuum, and other techno talents) just flat-out rocks.

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