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Pi

Year: 1997
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Aronofsky's first effort showed much of the film making talent that would make Requiem For a Dream such a great movie. But while Pi is filled with his lightning cutaways, visceral imagery and hip tracking style, Requiem put those talents to work telling a good story and made them into a film that had something to say.

The ultra-grainy black and white film stock made it hard to make out what was going on, and the all-brain-no-heart mad scientist is a hard character to care for even in a new, hip indie feature. Also, still apparently enmeshed in his film student mindset, Aronofsky peppers plenty of weird, unexplained and seemingly unrelated sequences everywhere (the brain and bleeding stranger on the subway).

It seemed a point emerged halfway through – that a 216 digit number would unlock the codes in the Torah and predict the stock market – but the focus stayed on the hero's increasing insanity and neither plot stream seemed to go anywhere. A movie more for movie makers than audiences, and although it misses the mark, Aronofsky found his feet, perfected his styles and will hopefully (and has) gone on to much better things.

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